Should I include an incomplete undergraduate degree on my resume?
November 29, 2006 2:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm a university dropout with the intention of returning to study (for a different degree) in mid-2007. I'm applying for a clerical position at a government department soon, should I include my incomplete undergrad degree on my resume?

Can anyone give some perspective on how this might look to an employer? If I do include it, how should I present it? I don't have any gaps in my employment history, just the incomplete degree. By the way, the position with the government department is a temporary, 7-month job, and will finish at about the time I resume study.
posted by madforplaid to Work & Money (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I say mention it. Try and spin it so that it looks as though you got something out of it - hey, you probably did get something out of it, so that shouldn't be too hard. It is better to acknowledge the fact that you made a mistake in your choice of institution/course than to have to explain a "gap" in the CV.

How far did you get through your degree? What was it in? What grades did you get whilst you were there? Why did you drop out?

At the very least you should be able to say something like

I have completed two months of a degree in underwater needlework, but have decided to switch my studies to the subject of explosives engineering as I believe this would better suit my talents and career ambitions. To this end I will restart my education at Euphoric State university in September 2007.

Whilst studying at the University of Rummidge I developed my time management and IT skills. I was active in the ballroom dancing society and helped to organise an international basket-weaving contest

Or something. But you must have done something useful at Uni worth mentioning.
posted by handee at 2:44 AM on November 29, 2006

Handee, thank you for your answer. You're right, the reason I dropped out was due to poor course choice, but I can definitely put a positive spin on what I have done at university thanks to your ideas. Much appreciated.
posted by madforplaid at 3:07 AM on November 29, 2006

Yes mention it. Doesn't say what country you are in, but for a US Gov't job the crediting plan gives points for HS Diploma. more points for 'some college,' more points for Bachelor's get the idea.
posted by fixedgear at 3:46 AM on November 29, 2006

My resume simply stated "worked towards degree in..." However, I simply left without picking up my degree, which I could have done if I wasn't too lazy to fill out forms :D
posted by missed at 4:33 AM on November 29, 2006

Most government applications have a spot for "Education and Training". You can list education in progress here, it is not only for completed education.
posted by JJ86 at 5:38 AM on November 29, 2006

when I was working on getting an MCSE and searching for a new job, I included my progress, even though it wasn't complete.
posted by indigo4963 at 6:29 AM on November 29, 2006

Document the number of hours completed and put it in as MeFi University, X hours credit, X hours coursework in Subject Applicable to this job, i.e.,
University of Maine, completed 42 hours, including 18 hours in Computer Science.
posted by theora55 at 7:27 AM on November 29, 2006

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