Following some advice I read on this website, I decided to de-emphasize on my resume the fact that I dropped out from college, but put a few bullet points mentioning my achievements. I basically followed the advice to only mention the years but not write any degree.
It looks a bit like this (bogus but equivalent details here for sake of privacy):
- 2008-2011, Stanford University, Management Science & Statistics
- Bill Gates Award for Highest Achieving Student in 2010
- Sponsored research and publication in Harvard Business Review: "title"
In addition to this I have 3 years of rich work experience which I also detailed well in terms of achievements and performance.
After a few interviews, I finally received some offers. However, none of the interviewers ever asked any details about my education, if I graduated or which degree I got, etc. - so I also steered away from mentioning that I dropped out. People generally were very happy with my experience and focused a lot of the conversations on work.
Must I explain the full story at the interview even if not asked?
Should they question me after I accept the offer and work for a few months, am I justified to say that I was not asked about it, so I didn't feel it was necessary to reveal that information?
Another way to put this question is: am I obliged to explain my dropping out story even if nobody ever asks about it at the interviews? Would I be guilty for withholding an important detail?
How should I represent this on my resume without it looking misleading (but also not drawing too much attention to the "dropping out")?
Note: I perfectly understand and agree that grades are not as important as work achievements in later years, and my own career growth has proven me that. However, when I look for a new job at a new company, all I want to do is somehow underline that I am associated with a prestigious institution and have achieved some highly relevant and remarkable things during education, including some prestigious rewards recognized by my industry - and all of that despite not graduating. I hope this makes sense.