Best Ways to Portray Liberal Arts Education on a Resume


Stephanie writes: What is the best way to present a liberal-arts degree such as a degree in philosophy on a resume?


The Career Doctor responds:
In terms of the degree itself my advice is pretty much the same for all majors. Assuming your degree (as opposed to your experience) is your best selling point list Education before Experience. I recommend this format:

[name of degree] in [name of major] [with honors if applicable] [name of school] [city state of school] [grad date (month and year if recent just year if more than about two years ago)]

So for example:

Bachelor of Arts in Humanities magna cum laude Stetson University DeLand FL 1993

If the liberal arts/philosophy major has a minor in an area of interest to prospective employers (business computers languages for example) I advise listing it (like this:)

[name of degree] in [name of major] [with honors if applicable] [name of school] [city state of school] [grad date (month and year]; [Minor: name of minor]

Even if the liberal arts/philosophy major has taken just a couple of courses in areas of interest to employers I’d list them.

Beyond the degree focus on transferable skills — skills gained in school in jobs through sports through extracurriculars through internships through just about any aspect of life — that are applicable and transferable to the graduate’s desired job. Emphasize the skills that liberal arts/philosophy majors are especially known for such as critical thinking and writing (more are listed in my partner’s article Ten Ways to Market Your Liberal Arts Degree).


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