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I studied for two years in a university towards a bachelor's degree and then left because my parents and I had to immigrate to another country before I turn 21 (the age limit for an immigrant's child). Now I have to write my resume to apply for jobs. I have decided to include this college experience in my resume.

How can I describe it in my resume? How should I include a brief description of my reason for leaving college?

My draft for this part of the resume goes like this:

Sept 2008 – May 2010 XX University Completed four semesters toward Bachelor of Arts in YY (Non-academic leave because of the age limit for immigration to the BBB)

  • Would any of those credits transfer to another university where you are now? Have you since gotten a degree? – thursdaysgeek May 20 at 18:26
  • Do you plan on completing your education? – sf02 May 20 at 18:39
  • How long ago did this happen? The amount of emphasis you put on this may be different if you're looking for your very first job, versus if this happened 15 years ago and you've got a long employment history. – dwizum May 20 at 18:43
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How can I describe it in my resume? How should I include a brief description of my reason for leaving college?

Don't include your reasons for leaving college. If you are asked about it during an interview, you can explain the reasons at that time. Anything you add to your resume should be relevant to your career and the position that you are applying to.

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How can I describe it in my resume? How should I include a brief description of my reason for leaving college?

I would not attempt to provide a reason in your resume.

Resumes are intended to spark conversations, to convey the what, where, and when of your work and educational experience. They are not very good for explaining the why.

That's what cover letters, introductions, and interviews are for: providing context if necessary.

If a position does not require a college degree, for example, an employer may not care the reason why you left college. Your employer might be happy that you have any college experience at all, and your description would be unnecessary.

In a different situation, an employer might want a more detailed description of why you left college, or would want to have a conversation about it anyway, so your reason in your resume might be unnecessary in that case as well.

By sticking with basic facts in your resume, you keep it short, easy to read, and relevant. It's tempting to add descriptions, but unless something can be conveyed in one or two words, such prose more often than not simply serves to distract.

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