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How to Mention Last Semester Pending 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 in your job search, 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.

So, what do you do with that college degree you haven’t quite received yet (aka, an incomplete degree)?

Check your graduation status.

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.

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.

You can also write the name of your degree, with the expected graduation date in parentheses. For example, someone majoring in psychology might write “Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Expected May 2025).”

Note:‌ Beyond writing your educational background and projected graduation, don’t forget to dive into any relevant experience you have, including professional experience, special achievements (i.e., the dean’s list), part-time/full-time jobs, important coursework and certifications throughout the experience section and skills section. Basic information like your current GPA (Grade Point Average), your school name, your social media accounts, and your contact info (email, phone number, address) is also a necessity.

Proofread your resume.

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.


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.


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


Madi Reade is currently a student in her junior year at the University of Missouri studying Journalism with an emphasis in Strategic Communications. She lives an active lifestyle and maintains an organized weekly routine to ensure academic success. Throughout her academic career, she has remained committed to bettering her writing and editing abilities with a plan to pursue a career after university that will allow her to employ these skills effectively.

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