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I used to live in Canada and used to attend a university in Canada. I moved to US recently without completing my degree.

I decided to apply to full-time jobs in US so that I can settle down and pay for rent, food etc. On my resume, I currently have:

University of MyUniversity City, Province
Candidate, Honors Bachelor of Science
Major: myMajor

However, I feel that what I have above gives off the impression that I am still planning on continuing university in Canada (which is not good because I no longer live in Canada and am trying to get a full-time job in US). I obviously cannot completely remove the word "candidate" because then HR will think I graduated.

How do I make it clear to HR that I am no longer in the Canadian university but I also don't have my degree?

6

Quite simply, just indicate it after the degree name.

You could put:

Honors Bachelor of Science (incomplete)

or

Honors Bachelor of Science (discontinued)

if you don't intend to go back to finish it.

  • 1
    While I like the simplicity, I wonder if it wouldn't be better in the OP's situation to list something like "unfinished due to relocation" instead? Though perhaps it would make more sense to bring that up in the cover letter since he's entry-level. – Lilienthal Sep 23 '15 at 10:40
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    @Lilienthal Best to keep it brief in the CV. Note that "Incomplete" simply means, "I haven't finished it yet." "Discontinued" is a very definite "I'm never going to finish this one". :) So by stating "Incomplete", it encapsulates sufficient information to say that you worked on it but have not yet attained the qualification. (The terms I used are actually academic terms). – Jane S Sep 23 '15 at 10:44
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    @JaneS Okay thanks. Just to verify, you're saying I put "University of MyUniversity City, Province -> Honors Bachelor of Science (discontinued) -> Major: myMajor" or should I omit the "Major" part? Also, should I mention that I was enrolled in university from "2012-2015" to show that I didn't just drop out right after being enrolled? – user112321123 Sep 23 '15 at 19:32
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    @user112321123 I'd show my major, and also the dates. Only use "discontinued" if you have officially withdrawn your enrolment (rather than deferred). That sounds like the case here :) – Jane S Sep 23 '15 at 20:49
  • @JaneS I'm still technically a student in the university and can take courses so long as I pay a re-enrollment fee (my status is "financially cancelled" at the moment). So I'm not actually withdrawn, just financially cancelled. But on my resume, I want to make it clear that if I get a job, I will work without them having to worry about me wanting to finish my degree (finishing my degree is my fallback if I can't find a good job). With that said, I'm assuming "discontinued" is still the word I should use here to make it clear that my goal is to work in the US and not to go back to University? – user112321123 Sep 23 '15 at 21:04
5

I was in your exact situation long ago. I can say from personal experience, that there is no need to clarify your situation.

I attended a university, but didnt graduate, nor did I get a degree. On my resume, I listed my school, major, and my academic awards, all of which were factual. I made no claims I finished school or received a diploma.

Early on in my career, a few interviewers asked me about my education and I answered honestly. As long as you dont make any false claims, you have nothing to worry about.

  • but wouldn't writing the university and major on your resume imply that you graduated? Did you put "UniversityName, Bachelors of Science, MajorName" on your resume? Or did you put the word 'candidate' before the "Bachelors" part? – user2719875 Sep 23 '15 at 6:29
  • @user2719875 The word "candidate" may also mean that you were just accepted to a university but didn't attend. After all, you are a job candidate now. It doesn't mean you're an employee yet. If you want to make it clear that it's not complete, I like the suggestion from JaneS in the other answer. – Brandin Sep 23 '15 at 8:02
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    @Lilienthal I have to disagree. Most places accept partial/some college/university. The way I see it is that the more you explain about something, the more they're going to think something else happened. I would just put the college you attended, what year you started, degree, and gpa. I do agree that putting the end year might be mistaken as if you graduated that year. Most online applications allow for starting year, but leaving out "ending year" if you are currently attending or stopped going. All of which would be factual information that any basic background check would pick up on. – Dan Sep 23 '15 at 12:57
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    @Lilienthal do you list whether you were fired from a job? If the job was a 4 year contract do you write "incomplete"? If it was a 2 year rotation do you write "(incomplete rotation)"? I don't think this is so different. Resumes aren't places to air any dirty laundry the interviewer might be concerned about. It's wrong to claim you have a B.S. if you don't, not that you went to college when you did. – user42272 Sep 23 '15 at 18:49
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    @Lilienthal the goal of a startup is to go public or get acquired, so if you leave before it did you should put what on your resume? – user42272 Sep 24 '15 at 16:59
1

To my eye, at least, including "Candidate, Honors Bachelor of Science" implies that you are still pursuing your degree. Since it seems you are no longer pursuing that degree, I recommend deleting that statement from the resume. Similarly, including "Major: myMajor" implies completion of a degree in that major (assuming you aren't still in school), unless you make it explicit that you didn't finish.

Usually if you complete a degree you only show the completion date, something like:

University of MyUniversity City, Province
Bachelor of Science, 2015
Major: myMajor

By listing dates without a degree it is implied that you didn't finish a degree. Thus the simplest thing to do would be to just list the school and the dates you attended:

University of MyUniversity City, Province
2014-2015

This should be fine for situations in which your coursework wouldn't help you get the job, such as if you only got through general studies courses, or if your major wasn't relevant to the job you're trying to get.

Of course, there can be times when showing your major could help get your targeted job. In a case such as that, I'd suggest showing it with a statement of how many credits you completed, something like:

University of MyUniversity City, Province
2014-2015, 42 credits earned
Major: myMajor

If you want to show you completed specific courses, you could show them something like:

University of MyUniversity City, Province
2014-2015, 42 credits earned
Related courses: Underwater Basketweaving, Navel Gazing, Advanced Navel Gazing
  • 1
    Can I attend U of MUC? I'm already very good gazing at navels and could probably clep out of it. ... :p – CGCampbell Sep 23 '15 at 18:22
1

How do I make it clear to HR that I am no longer in the Canadian university but I also don't have my degree?

The way I have seen it done is to indicate the University and major, and include the dates attended. Leave off the degree (since you didn't get one), the word "Candidate" (since you aren't one) and any mention of honors that you didn't attain.

Thus:

University of MyUniversity City, Province 
Major: myMajor 
20xx - 20yy

It's completely honest, and expresses what you did achieve without emphasizing what you didn't.

0

Another way would be to put the dates of which you did attend the university,

June 2014 - March 2015 at least shows you didn't drop out after the first week.

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    But I would want to know if you finished the program? For example, if you attended for two years and didn't finish, how will I know that just by reading your example? – Brandin Sep 23 '15 at 15:07
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University of MyUniversity City, Province

Candidate, Honors Bachelor of Science

Major: myMajor

Degree not attained

Works for me.

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    This answer satisfies only one condition: "I also don't have my degree", not the other one "I am no longer in the Canadian university". – scaaahu Sep 24 '15 at 2:45
  • How do you figure? If the degree was in progress, the person would indicate "degree in process" or not indicate anything. Saying "Degree not attained" along with an end date in the past indicates that the tenure at the University is over and that the degree was not attained. My answer includes the exact same level of detail placed in a different area of the entry as the one that's currently at 5 points. – user2989297 Sep 24 '15 at 15:37
  • along with an end date Where is the end date in the answer? – scaaahu Sep 25 '15 at 3:14
  • Where is the end date in Jane S' answer? And why would you give an end date for a program that did not reach the end? It is not attained, not complete, therefore there is not a day that it completed... – user2989297 Sep 28 '15 at 15:38

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