magna cum laude on Resume

by Heidi Cope
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Listing Latin honors on your resume like magna cum laude can be a tricky thing.

You want to showcase your achievement in school but not too over the top or redundant about your GPA.

While your undergraduate GPA probably won’t matter much a few years out of college, it can let employers know some key things about you:

You have been a hard worker for many years, you can adapt to various situations and achieve your goals, and you can make important deadlines.

After all, if you can’t make deadlines, you likely wouldn’t have finished all your homework or shown up to every quiz, making that impressive GPA hard to reach.

Doing well in school and graduating with distinction is not worth as much as experience or good recommendations a few years down the road, but it can help you stand out in the crowded job market, especially when you are a new graduate.

So you were a smart cookie — how do you best highlight that on your resume?

You are probably asking yourself these main questions about Latin honors and resumes:

1. Do I list it under the main education section for each degree?
2. Do I list it under the honors and awards section?
3. Do I list it with my GPA or just pick one of the two?

If it seems overwhelming, don’t worry. That’s what we are here for.

This article will answer those questions to help you create a seamless resume for your next job application.

magna cum laude and other Latin honors in a nutshell:

  • Make sure to italicize your Latin honors distinction, and keep it lowercase.
  • Place it under the honors and awards section of your resume or just beneath your degree in the education section of your resume.
  • Decide which honors to include — try not to be repetitive with academic honors.
    Honors such as Dean’s List may seem redundant if you also graduated with Greek or Latin honors

magna cum laude meaning

But before you go adding a bunch of fancy italics to your resume, make sure you know the different classes of Latin honors — adding a Latin honor that is incorrect would likely do you more harm than good.

Here is the breakdown:

magna cum laude — 3.9+ GPA
summa cum laude — 3.7+ GPA
cum laude — 3.5+ GPA

But note: Latin honors brackets can differ from school to school. Adding your GPA can clarify details, but note that a GPA of 3.0 and listing magna cum laude on a resume will appear fishy no matter where you went school.

Now that you know which phrase to correctly use, what is the next step?

Where to Put magna cum laude on a Resume?

So you’re excited that all your hard work in school has paid off and you want to put it on your resume. The real question here is… where?

Where is the best place to put Latin honors like magna cum laude?

The answer to that really depends on what you are trying to emphasize on your resume.

1. Honors Section for School Achievements. If you are a decade or more out of school, you likely want to emphasize past jobs and skills. It’s unlikely you’ll have an honors section dedicated to school achievements.

2. Right Underneath your Degree. If you want to include your Latin honors on your resume but don’t want education to be the main focus, put it directly underneath your degree.

3. Awards and Honors Section. If you are just out of school and have a lot of academic honors and awards you want to note on your resume and don’t have much job experience, you likely will have a separate awards and honors section on your resume.

If you do have a separate awards and honors section, add your Latin honors there.

4. Mini Awards and Honors Section for Each Degree. If you have several degrees from different institutions, you can have your education section separate from your honors and awards section, which may be a good approach if you have one degree.

However, if you have separate degrees, a more organized approach would be the Harvard Law school method: making mini awards and honors section below each degree.

How to Put magna cum laude on Resume?

When it comes to Latin honors like magna cum laude, there are certain rules you must follow.

1. Italicize the Phrase magna cum laude. If you are referring to Latin phrases and texts, you have to write the words or phrases in italics.

Latin honors are…well, Latin, so the rule definitely applies here.

Hence, when writing your honors on your resume, make sure that they are italicized.

2. Keep the phrase in lowercase. This rule might be harder to predict, but it is just as important: keep the Latin honors in lowercase letters.

3. Don’t add anything to the phrase. Finally, saying that you graduated magna cum laude is not correct. Keep it to magna cum laude.

How to List magna cum laude on Resume

Finally, you may be asking how to list Latin honors on a resume. Should anything go with it?

Specifically, how does your placement of GPA matter when you also list Latin honors?

Latin honors show that you graduated within a certain GPA range, as determined by your school. So should you add both your GPA and Latin honors to the resume?

You do not need to add both, but you can put your GPA in parentheses next to the grade distinction if you prefer.

What about other academic honors?

Decide what you think is most important. You don’t need to list every academic honor you have ever received in school. Listing Latin honors, your GPA, graduating with honors, Dean’s list, etc, all together on one application can seem a bit much and is redundant.

Summary

Graduating from school with Latin honors is a big achievement.

Although many people graduate college these days, not many graduates with Latin honors, especially magna cum laude. If you were able to snag that upper-level Latin honors on your way out of college, you want to hold onto it.

Adding Latin honors, especially magna cum laude, to your resume could give it the extra boost it needs to make you stand out among the crowd of job-seekers.

If you do decide to add it to your resume, just remember:

Follow the rules on how to write Latin honors out.

Place the honors in your resume based on what you want to emphasize to employers.

Most of all, don’t be redundant with all the honors and distinctions.

They get it — you are a smartie.

We hope that you follow the tips written out in this article and make your resume that flawless, next-level application document you need to land your next job.

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