If you’re a job seeker with a GED, you might be wondering whether—or how—to list your GED on your resume. Here are some tips to help you figure it out.

Do you even need to put your GED on the resume?

First, consider why you’re including your GED on your resume. Are you including it because you didn’t finish high school and want to make sure your potential employer knows that you have the equivalent of a high school diploma? Or are you including it because you think it will help you stand out from other candidates?

If you’re including your GED on your resume because you didn’t finish high school, you might want to consider whether you want to include that information at all. In some cases, it might be better to leave it off your resume altogether. For example, if you’re applying for a job that doesn’t require a high school diploma, your potential employer might not care that you have a GED. And in some cases, listing your GED on your resume might make you seem like a less desirable candidate.

If you've managed to get higher education beyond high school, say a bachelor's degree or an associate degree or even a certification of some sort, it's safe to put that on your resume instead. It's customary to only include the latest education you've received. Keeping out what you did in high school is therefore often fine.

Nevertheless, if you decide you still want to put your GED on your resume here's how to do that well:

Where To Put GED On Resume

A GED is both a high school equivalent diploma and a certificate. So it is reasonable to put in the education section of your resume or your certificatesand accreditation section. At Careered, we recommend putting your GED in the education section.

The GED is a replacement for a high school education. Despite being a certificate, it's replacing a high school diploma. So It should replace where the high school diploma would appear on your resume.

Examples of How to List GED on a Resume

There are a few ways you can list your GED on your resume, depending on your job goals and experiences. Here are a few examples:

Education General Education Development Diploma, Dec 2019

Why this works: the resume writer in this example chose to usethe full form for GED. The presentation makes it seem more official, and points to the fact that a qualified GED score counts as a diploma.

Education General Education Development Diploma, May 2017

Fremont High School, Sunnyvale CA Sep 2014 - May 2016

Why this works: Your resume should be organized reverse chronologically, with your most recent education listed first. By adding the GED right after the high school, you don’t have to explain why you didn’t finish high school. The resume reader will understand that you continued your education in a different way.

Education GED, 2002

San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA Bachelor of Arts in English, 2004

Why this works: This resume writer has included her GED information along with her college degree information. By including her GED, she’s showing that she has the equivalent of a high school diploma.

What Can I Do Stand Out With A GED?

1. Focus On Your Experience The education section of the resume is often the least important part of the resume. If you're a decade out of high school or more, it's safe to completely replace it with a longer section on your previous jobs and experiences.

Most hiring managers care more about what you've done most recently than in the distant past. Focus there. If you show the right strengths in your most recent experiences it can overcome any other parts of your resume.

2. Highlight Your Certifications and Hard Skills A lot of jobs, like plumbing, electricians, software engineering don't deeply value education. Hard skills matter more for those jobs. So if you can show you have the certifications, you can overcome whatever concerns they might have over your education.

3. Explain It In Your Cover Letter If all else fails, it's better to be clear about having a GED than hiding it until later in the hiring process. In your cover letter, you can add a part explaining your background, why you got a GED instead of a high school diploma.