How To Add Anticipated Graduation Date On Your Resume

by Chris Kolmar
Get The Job, Guides, Resume - 4 weeks ago

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How To Add Anticipated Graduation Date On Your Resume

After studying hard, hitting the books, and cramming for exams, your college graduation date is just around the corner.

Imagine yourself walking across the stage in your cap and gown for your commencement ceremony. It will feel amazing when you finally hold that college diploma in your hand. So go ahead, take a bite of graduation cake and pose with your family.

It’s time to celebrate and you earned it!

As a new college grad, now it’s time to start making that anticipated degree pay off and start looking for that higher paying job.

Here we’ll share best practices to help your soon to be conferred degree stand out and catch the attention of potential employers.

What Exactly Does an Anticipated Graduation Date Mean?

Your anticipated graduation date is the month, day, and year that you are scheduled to complete your degree requirements. For most colleges and universities, it can take four to six years of full-time study to complete the coursework for graduates to earn their diplomas. Some accelerated college programs allow graduates to get their degree in a year. So degree completion varies depending on the program you are in and whether you are attending school part of full-time.

Employers are interested in learning your anticipated graduation date to understand how far along you are in your training and when you may be free to start work.

For instance, if the employer was filling a position on October 15, 2020, and your anticipated graduation date was December 15, 2020, they know that you would not be free yet to fill the position.

Why Older College Graduates Shouldn’t List Graduation Date on Your Resume

It is against the law for any company to discriminate against a job applicant who is 40 or more years of age. While employers aren’t allowed to ask about age, they do have ways around finding out how old you are. One of those can be finding out your anticipated graduation date or when you graduated from college.

If you are an older applicant, you may want to pass on listing the date of your completed degree. It reveals your age and can cause an employer to wrongfully pass you over for a younger applicant.

If you are wondering how far back should your resume go, this will help.

Check here for other things to avoid putting on your resume.

What is the best way to list your upcoming degree on your resume?

When you are completing your college degree, you probably have very little job experience.

What are you going to list?

You were a college camp counselor. You worked the drive-through at McDonalds. You were a nanny for a local family. Not much relevant work experience here.

So sharing the education you are pursuing and when it will be completed is important information for employers. Here are the vital details to include about your soon to be completed degree.

  • College or University attended – List the educational facility where you pursue your degree.

  • Location including City and State – Share the location of the educational establishment

  • Month and Year of Anticipated Completion

  • Degree Name

  • Grade Point Average GPA – If you graduated with honors, definitely list this on your resume. This can be a designation of distinction such as Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude or Magna Cum Laude. If your cumulative GPA is 3.0 or below, do not list it on your resume.

Where to Place An Anticipated Degree On Your Resume

Depending on your situation you should place your anticipated degree in different locations on your resume. If you are young with no job experience, you should place the education section with an anticipated degree about your professional experience. Since you have little relevant experience at this point, your degree bears more weight and should be listed closer to the top.

However, if you are an older student who has previous industry job experience, you can list that first and place the Education section lower in your resume beneath your professional work experience.

Here is an example of how to list your expected graduation date.


University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
Bachelor of Science in Business (Expected to Graduate in June 2021)
Graduating Magna Cum Laude

Tips for Creating Your First College Resume

A solid resume can help new college graduates get more interviews and land a job sooner. So knowing how to make the most of your skills and experience is important. Since you have less relevant job experience, you can find other ways to show your skills.

If this is the first resume you have ever written, relax. We have got you covered. Here are 9 tips for writing an entry-level resume when you have no experience.

Start your resume with a compelling summary. Resist the urge to make a blanket statement summary such as “To get a job with a progressive organization.” You need something more enticing that highlights your qualifications.

Here is an example resume summary statement.

Distinguished Magna Cum Laude graduate seeking a role as Entry Level Account Manager. Possess excellent communication, interpersonal, leadership, and problem-solving skills. Seeking to be part of an exceptional team driving growth.

Still not sure? Here are more tips on resume objectives entry-level.

Writing More Impactful Bullet Points for Your Job Experience

When you do list your job experience, think carefully about the skills needed in your future job and how you may have gotten experience doing that in your previous roles. Show any promotions you got on your resume too.

For example instead of listing that you worked at McDonalds and “worked the register” you can be creative and share that you“ensure positive customer experiences, answer customer questions and encourage repeat business.”

Did you serve time in the military? That’s important to list your military experience on your resume as well. Here are some tips for listing military experience on your resume.

Don’t forget to mention any internship or externship experience you had. You probably got some solid industry experience that can show your skills in action to potential employers.

Include a list of your core competencies. Search job descriptions for roles that you would be interested in applying for. Read what characteristics and skills they are looking for. Note the job skills that you possess. Be sure to add any important industry buzzwords.

Here is a list of skills and some in-demand core competencies to consider for a new college graduate resume:

  • Leadership Skills

  • Teamwork

  • Highly Organized

  • Results-oriented

  • Problem Solving

  • Deadline Driven

  • Decision Making

  • Communication

  • Critical Thinking

Examples Of Potential Relevant Experience While In School

College Organizations

List any college organizations that you were a member of. Some examples of college activities you can be involved in are the following:

  • Sorority or Fraternity “Greek Life” Organizations

  • Sports Teams

  • Community Service andVolunteer WorkGroups

  • Academic Groups

  • College TV/Radio/Newspaper/Yearbook organizations

  • Social Groups (Cooking, Religious, Sobriety, etc)

  • Professional Organizations

    Joining a professional organization boosts your credibility and can help you make valuable connections. It can be a great way to show you have industry knowledge. Plus, it provides an opportunity to gain leadership skills for your resume. If you aren’t in an organization now, you may want to consider joining one in your field.

    Add any professional organizations that you are a member of. For example, you may be a member of the American Marketing Association (AMA), National Human Resources Association, or Toastmasters International.

    Service Organizations

    Mention any local service organizations you are a member of such as The Lions Club, The Rotary Club, Kiwanis, or American Legion. These are voluntary organizations that perform charitable work in the community.


    Share any hobbies you may have such as Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, tennis, yoga, or coaching the local elementary softball team.

    Technical Skills

    Here is where you can list any software skills that you have.

  • Word Processing like Word, Mariner, Google Docs

  • Email Programs

  • Spreadsheets

  • Task Management Software

  • Programming Languages

  • Data Analysis Tools

  • Marketing Software like Keyword Research, Social Media Tools

  • CRM and Lead Management Software

  • Graphic Design Tools like Canva or Adobe

  • Content Management Systems

  • And more.

  • Outline for a New College Graduate Resume

    As a college graduate, you are probably wondering how long your resume should be. One page is the recommended length for new college graduates or entry-level workers.

    If you are struggling to keep your resume down, here are 5 easy steps to make your resume one page.

    Plus, keep in mind that your resume is a working document that you can tailor for each job you apply for. Here’s some simple advice on how to customize your resume for every job in 5 easy steps.

    These are the recommended resume sections.


    Address, City, State, Zip | Phone | Email

    Linkedin URL


    Core Competencies


    College Name

    City, State

    Degree (Expected graduation date)

    GPA or Honors if over 3.0

    Professional Experience

    (add internship experience here too)

    Company 1, City, State Start Date – Present

    Job Title

  • Job accomplishment 1 (list these withpresent tense verbs)

  • Job accomplishment 2

  • Job accomplishment 3

  • Company 2, City, State Start Date – End Date

    Job Title

  • Job accomplishment 1 (list these with past tense verbs)

  • Job accomplishment 2

  • Job accomplishment 3

  • Organizations


    Technical Skills

    One thing. It’s natural to polish your resume to sound amazing. But please resist the urge to embellish the truth. It’s bad practice and can hurt you in the end. Read more about why to avoid lying on a resume.

    Want some additional tips on ways to make yourself stand out? Here are 12 rules for writing an awesome resume.

    Take Advantage of these Top Resume Tips That Get New Graduates Hired

    If you want to stand out from other college job applicants, it all starts with your resume. Knowing the right format and how to include your soon to be completed graduation date gives you a true advantage. You have to sell yourself by highlighting your skills and experiences in a way that commands the attention of potential employers.

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