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I am already working for a few years and I want to put the focus of my CV on my work experience and publications. Unfortunately, the space on my CV is scarce, so I am trying to condense its content to the absolutely necessary parts.

I have looked around on a few websites. They usually describe what information an entry in the education section should contain, their examples usually list Bachelor and Master studies. I also found some examples where they only include the Master studies on the resume. An example of my CV:

M.Sc. in Computer Science    2016 - 2018
XXX University
Final grade: Very good
Thesis: XXX
Focus area: YYY

B.Sc. in Computer Science    2013 - 2016
XXX University
Final grade: Very good
Thesis: ZZZ

My goal basically is to focus on my Master's degree and either merge the Bachelor's degree with the Master's degree together (i.e., Computer Science studies from 2013-2018), or only list the Master studies (i.e., from 2016-2018). The latter would leave a gap in my CV because I list relevant work experience before 2013. So, I'd like to know, how this is usually handled, what are the pros and cons of each approach, and if I were to merge the two studies, how should I write it? (i.e., make clear that I didn't needed 5 years for a Master degree, but for Master and Bachelor together)

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  • What is the problem with the format / syntax you currently have? Commented Jan 20 at 12:21
  • I believe it takes up too much space relative to its importance on the targeted job description. It merely serves as a reminder that I do have a degree and that I was a good student, my course work, especially my undergraduate courses, don't contribute much relevant experience. So, I was hoping to reduce its space. Commented Jan 20 at 12:34
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    OK then, the answer below by Job_September_2020 should do the job for you. :) Commented Jan 20 at 12:35
  • One thing to consider about CV advice on websites is that they're usually aimed at people who are new to the job market - because those are the people most often in need of advice - and isn't always suited for people with a longer history. Commented Jan 20 at 13:19

3 Answers 3

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Unless your theses are easily publicly accessible and profoundly interesting to a particular employer, I would say that information is completely irrelevant and would only be included as padding on the CV for someone emerging from education with no real work history.

Assuming you have a bit of work experience, and assuming you attended the same university for both courses, I think you could probably condense to as little as 3 lines:

XXX University
2016-18, MSc, Computer Science (Grade: Very Good)
2013-16, BSc, Computer Science (Grade: Very Good)

Employers mostly use the results of schooling as an indication of "intelligence" relative to other candidates, and your proven ability to handle information of an academic kind and in an academic way.

The actual course content, and any materials produced on the course, may often be considered irrelevant, as it will rarely be tailored to what a specific employer actually needs.

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    I wouldn't even include the grade in there (and certainly not write "Very Good", that's ambiguous and subjective). Once you get out of university and get your first job, no one cares what your grade was.
    – Seth R
    Commented Jan 20 at 15:33
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    @SethR On my actual CV, I specifically mention the numeric score as well as its written form ("very good"). For privacy reasons, I did not include the numeric score here. I find the inclusion of the written form suitable to make it clear to the reader that 1.x is NOT a bad grade -- which it is in certain grading systems. Commented Jan 21 at 7:08
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    If it is relevant information that OP studied computer science at a university, it can't be irrelevant that he was very successful in his studies.
    – Stefan
    Commented Jan 21 at 9:00
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    Perhaps it's a cultural difference, but I'm not used to there being an objective category of "Very Good", and in the US, I think it's best to just put the GPA and let the employer decide for themselves whether its good. Or not comment on it at all. I don't think most employers care about your GPA. Commented Jan 21 at 19:05
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    If you include grades, I would recommend you tailor the description to the receiving institution. "Very good" sounds like a literal translation of the German "sehr gut" which is an actual grade, in the way a "first" would be in the UK. (GPA is an US-American grading structure.) So I would leave the "sehr gut" as the literal grade and then explain how it's the highest grade that can be awarded in that course (assuming that's the case). Commented Jan 22 at 15:39
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I am already working for a few years and I want to put the focus of my CV on my work experience and publications.

Go for the extreme. Only one line per degree.

Education
2018 M.Sc. in Computer Science Focus area: YYY XXX University
2016 B.Sc. in Computer Science XXX University

The years you attended aren't important. The only things that are important is the school, the year awarded, and the degree.

Any other lines you use in that section are wasted unless the information is vital to the job you are applying for.

If the title of the thesis is important to the position you are applying for then include it. If that is the case also mention it in the cover letter. The cover letter is the place to highlight key information and explain why those facts make you perfect for the position.

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  • Yes, definitely expand (a tiny bit) in the cover letter. Everything that comfortably fits in a couple short paragraphs, sandwiched by a greeting paragraph with position applying for and why, and a closing paragraph line. Saying too much will put people off, and if they want more they will ask. Commented Jan 20 at 13:54
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    Exactly this. I would even remove the years and the focus. When working for a few years the details of how you did at school do not matter (maybe, and only maybe if you had an exceptional result - but even then it takes the focus out of the work experience part). I just have a line with my MSc in one area and a PhD in another one + the name of the school
    – WoJ
    Commented Jan 22 at 8:35
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The format you show on your post is fine (especially if you just graduate and don't have lots of real work experience in the industry).


However, most resumes of people who have years of real work in the industry would be even more concise when it comes to describing their education as follows:

MS in Computer Science  (2016 - 2018)
XXX University

BS in Computer Science   (2013 - 2016)
XXX University

The significant parts of their resumes will focus much more on describing their work history along with their practical skills and experiences in the industry.

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