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How to List a Pending Degree on a Resume

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You've completed your general and prerequisite courses along with those pertinent to your major. Finally, you see graduation and the beginning of a career on the horizon. The next phase is landing the post-graduation job. To get a jump on other graduates, sending a resume out before commencement is both proactive and practical. Potential employers may be impressed by your ambition and you will get a realistic sense of professional prospects and the actual work environment.

Check your graduation status. Make sure your college credits and degree requirements match your anticipated graduation date. Typically, colleges require students to apply for graduation. Once the application is made, advisers pour over transcripts looking for any outstanding issues that might preclude graduation.

Prepare your resume. In the education portion of your resume, after the name of your university or college, list your intended degree. If graduation is near, you may want to use the word "Pending" along with the commencement date. If graduation is further down the line, you may want to use the word "Expected" with the projected commencement date. Place a comma following the name of your college or university and before degree-related information. For example: Stanford University, Biochemistry, Pending, May 2012.

Proofread your resume. Comb over it with painstaking detail. Pass the resume to another trustworthy set of eyes. If possible, try to have several associates proof your resume. When potential employers consider job applicants, a flawless resume is essential.

Tip

If you lack work experience in your chosen field, take an internship or two. Internships are either paid or unpaid. Unpaid internships are often less competitive and often easier to secure. If you are completing a degree after acquiring work experience, you may want to list work experience first. Adding work experience to your pending degree lends extra credibility to your resume, making you a better candidate for the job.

Warning

Do not be dishonest on your resume. A potential employer can easily validate your college enrollment and academic progress by checking your references.

About the Author

Ana Petty began working as a freelance feature reporter in 2000 for "The Potomac News" and later as a staff features reporter for "The Prince William Journal." Since this time, Petty has added daily government beats and hard news, as well as copyediting to her professional experience. Recently, she returned to college to complete a B.S. in journalism at Kent State University.

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