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Ditch the Diploma Days: Why Your High School Should Stay Off Your Resume

Remember the epic dodgeball battles, the thrill of that last-minute victory in the school play, and the endless nights cramming for finals? Ah, high school: a time of growth, discovery, and, let's be honest, the occasional questionable fashion choice. But as you step into the professional world, it's time to consider whether those memories deserve a place on your resume. While including your high school experience might seem like a no-brainer, hear me out – there are compelling reasons why leaving it off could actually serve you better.

1. Time to Shine Spotlight on the Present:

Let's face it, your resume is prime real estate, and valuable space shouldn't be wasted on things that don't directly speak to your current skillset and experience. Hiring managers are primarily interested in what you can offer NOW, which is different from what you achieved back in the days of braces and acne breakouts. 

2. Age and Relevance Concerns:

In a professional setting, mentioning high school can raise unwanted questions about your age and maturity. While age shouldn't be a determining factor in hiring, unconscious biases still exist. By focusing on your more recent achievements, you project an image of someone experienced and ready to hit the ground running, not someone just out of detention.

3. Risk of Raising the Bar (Too High):

You were the student council president and won the regional science fair. Those are impressive feats, but listing them alongside your actual professional contributions can create an unfair comparison. Think of it this way: mentioning your 100-yard dash win in high school might pale in comparison to your recent marathon PR. Don't set yourself up for potential disappointment by highlighting achievements that might overshadow your current expertise.

4. Exceptions to the Rule:

Of course, there are always exceptions. Suppose you have exceptional accomplishments from high school, like published research or national awards. In that case, they might be worth mentioning, especially if they align directly with the job you're applying for. Just be sure they don't dominate your resume, and always prioritize your post-secondary experiences.

5. Focus on the Bigger Picture:

Your resume is a chance to tell your professional story, a narrative that unfolds through your skills, experience, and accomplishments. Including high school information can disrupt the flow and dilute the impact of your more relevant achievements. Use your resume space to showcase the skills you've honed and the results you've delivered, leaving the yearbook memories for your scrapbook.

Remember, your resume is a living document; its contents should evolve with your career journey. As you gain more experience, let your high school days fade into the background, replaced by the achievements that reflect your professional value. Ditch the diploma days, and let your present and future accomplishments take center stage!

Now, conquer the professional world with a resume that shines the spotlight on your true potential. For more resume help, subscribe and get your FREE copy of Resume All Day's Resume Do's and Don'ts Guide.

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