Family Magazine

Ask Michelle: When to Omit Education from Your Resume

By Michelle Merritt @michellemerritt
Ask Michelle: When to Omit Education from Your Resume I've been struggling with my job search and am worried that my Ph.D. is scaring off potential employers. Should I omit my education from my resume? Please help, Well Educated and Struggling

Dear Well Educated and Struggling,

I'm sorry you're struggling in your job search. First, take heart that most people struggle at some point during their job search process. You're not alone so before you start deleting your education from your resume there are a few things to ask yourself.

Is your education really the culprit or is it the easiest thing to blame for not getting the job you wanted? While some people may be intimidated by your Ph.D. there could many reasons why you're not getting the job you want. Are your interview skills up to par? Were you well prepared for the interview showing examples of your work and taking good notes? Did you follow up on the interview with thank you notes (both written and email)? Were others more qualified for the position? Are your industry connections as strong as the person's who got the job? Did you have good chemistry with the interviewers? There are hundreds of reasons why an interview doesn't turn into an offer and most have little to do with your education so do an honest assessment of the entire interview process before removing your education.

If, after an honest assessment of your application and interview process, you still feel like your education is intimidating interviewers it might be worth removing. The only time we would advise removing your education would be if your degree has absolutely nothing to do with the field you're applying to or your alma mater intimidates people in your industry or community. This should be reserved as a last resort. Before taking this step be sure to ask yourself if you really want to work for an organization that is intimidated by something you've worked so hard for. Earning a Ph.D. is something to be very proud of so hold your head up high.

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