QUESTION: I have a Ph.D. but the jobs I’m applying to do not require this education level. Should I leave it off the resume? Will that be lying?
If you are including an Education section and have listed other degrees, certifications, or licenses, you should not remove your Ph.D. as this would be misleading. Instead, think about where on your resume your Education section is listed. Perhaps this section is at the end of your resume so the reader sees your experience and other qualifications first. Include a cover letter to further explain.
While you can leave the Ph.D. designation off of your name, it would be disingenuous to delete it entirely from your resume. Others may advise doing so, or risk being “overqualified.” However, in general, employers prefer to hire the most qualified candidates. When applicants hear that they are overqualified, it is often a less disagreeable form of rejection for other reasons you should address.
Do not omit “Ph.D” off your resume. Make sure the content and the meat of the details reflect your capabilities for the desired position, but there is no need to omit your degree.
Your resume should be strategically developed to address the requirements of the role at hand. Most omissions do not fall into the category of lies. That said, don’t be quick to assume that your Ph.D. will not be an asset. Smart hiring authorities will try to secure the best candidate they can afford. If you’re unsure, keep the education section at the bottom of your resume and include it there.
In resume writing, it is acceptable to omit material that is not relevant to your target. However, it may be advantageous to include your Ph.D. Earning a doctorate positions you as an expert in that field and demonstrates advanced research, analysis, and writing skills, as well as the ability to work independently, receive feedback, and meet deadlines, all of which are valuable job skills.
Ask a Question
Ask us your question and it may be selected as the topic of our next blog post, with answers compiled from the advice of NRWA members.
Work with the Best
Find a Resume Expert
If you’re looking for more information on how to write a great resume – or get an expert to help you with yours – you’ve come to the right place! This site was created by the National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA), a US-based non-profit association with members from around the world who are dedicated to learning about and providing expertise in resume writing to all job seekers.
The National Résumé Writers’ Association
9 Newport Drive #200, Forest Hill, MD 21050
Thanks for checking out ResumeExperts.theNRWA.com!
For more on our association and certification, see www.thenrwa.com