Graduating from high school is an important milestone in life that deserves recognition on your resume. However, simply listing “high school diploma” may not adequately convey your achievement to employers.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: On a resume, a high school diploma is typically called a high school diploma or secondary school diploma.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best ways to list your high school education on a resume to highlight your accomplishments and make a great first impression.

Use the Formal Name: High School Diploma or Secondary School Diploma

When listing your educational qualifications on a resume, it is important to use the formal name for your high school diploma. This helps to ensure accuracy and consistency in your application. The two most commonly used names for a high school diploma are “High School Diploma” and “Secondary School Diploma”.

Both of these terms convey the same meaning and can be used interchangeably.

Be accurate and consistent

When mentioning your high school diploma on a resume, it is crucial to be accurate and consistent in the way you present this information. Using the formal name of your diploma ensures that you provide the correct information to potential employers.

Inconsistencies or inaccuracies in your resume can raise questions about your attention to detail and professionalism.

Spell out diploma – don’t use abbreviations

While it may be tempting to use abbreviations such as “HS Diploma” or “SSD” to save space on your resume, it is advisable to spell out the term “High School Diploma” or “Secondary School Diploma” in its entirety.

This not only makes your resume easier to read and understand, but it also shows that you have taken the time to present your qualifications in a clear and professional manner.

Mention date of graduation

Along with the formal name of your high school diploma, it is important to mention the date of your graduation. This provides employers with an idea of your educational timeline and helps them gauge your level of experience and maturity.

Including the date also demonstrates transparency and honesty in your application.

It’s always a good idea to proofread your resume and ensure that all the information you provide, including your high school diploma, is accurate and presented in a consistent and professional manner.

Remember, your resume is often the first impression you make on potential employers, so it’s important to make it a good one.

Include Relevant Coursework and Achievements

When listing your high school diploma on a resume, it’s important to highlight the coursework and achievements that are relevant to the position you are applying for. This will show potential employers that you have a strong foundation in the subject matter and can apply your knowledge effectively.

Honors, awards, scholarships

If you received any honors, awards, or scholarships during your high school years, be sure to include them on your resume. These achievements demonstrate your hard work, dedication, and ability to excel in a competitive environment.

Employers value candidates who have been recognized for their accomplishments, so don’t be shy about showcasing your honors.

Relevant classes

Highlight any high school classes that are directly related to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a position in computer programming, mention any computer science or coding classes you took in high school.

This will show employers that you have a solid understanding of the subject matter and are prepared to excel in the role.

According to a study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, students who take advanced coursework in high school are more likely to succeed in college and have higher earning potential in their careers.

So, don’t underestimate the value of including relevant classes on your resume.

Extracurricular activities

Don’t forget to include any extracurricular activities that are relevant to the job you are applying for. These activities can demonstrate your leadership skills, teamwork abilities, and commitment to personal growth.

Whether you were involved in student government, sports teams, or community service organizations, these experiences can make you stand out from other candidates.

According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, 41% of hiring managers consider involvement in extracurricular activities when evaluating candidates. So, don’t be afraid to showcase your well-roundedness and highlight the skills you gained through these activities.

Showcase Skills Developed in High School

When listing a high school diploma on a resume, it’s important to highlight the skills that were developed during those years. High school is not just about academics; it’s also a time for personal growth and the acquisition of various skills that can be valuable in the workplace.

Here are some of the skills that can be showcased:

Academic Skills

Academic skills are the foundation of a high school education. These skills include proficiency in subjects such as mathematics, science, history, and language arts. They demonstrate the ability to analyze information, think critically, and solve problems.

Employers value these skills as they indicate a strong educational background. For instance, a high school graduate with a strong foundation in math may be well-suited for a position that requires analytical thinking or data analysis.

Technical Skills

In addition to academic skills, high school often provides opportunities to develop technical skills. These skills can include proficiency in computer software programs, knowledge of coding languages, or hands-on experience with tools and equipment.

For example, a student who has taken computer science courses in high school may have gained coding skills that are relevant in today’s digital age. These technical skills can be valuable in fields such as IT, engineering, or graphic design.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are equally important when showcasing a high school diploma on a resume. These skills are not specific to any particular subject but are transferable across various industries and job roles.

Soft skills include communication, teamwork, time management, problem-solving, and leadership abilities. Employers look for candidates with strong soft skills as they indicate an individual’s ability to work well with others and adapt to different situations.

For instance, a high school graduate who was involved in a student council or sports team may have developed excellent teamwork and leadership skills.

It’s important to remember that skills developed in high school may vary from person to person. Therefore, it’s essential to tailor the skills section of a resume to highlight the specific skills that are relevant to the desired job position.

By showcasing the skills developed in high school, individuals can demonstrate their readiness to enter the workforce and contribute positively to potential employers.

Formatting Tips

When it comes to including your high school diploma on a resume, following proper formatting guidelines can help you present your education in the most effective way. Here are some tips to consider:

Put education at the top

When listing your education on a resume, it is generally recommended to place it near the top of the document. This allows potential employers to quickly see your educational background and qualifications.

By placing your high school diploma at the top, you can highlight your academic achievements and demonstrate your commitment to education.

Bold name of high school

To draw attention to your high school diploma, consider bolding the name of your high school. This can help make it stand out and catch the reader’s attention. For example, instead of simply listing “John Doe High School,” you can format it as “John Doe High School.”

This simple formatting technique can make a difference in how your education section is perceived.

List in reverse chronological order

When including your high school diploma on a resume, it is important to list your education in reverse chronological order. Start with your most recent educational attainment and work your way back. This means that your high school diploma should be listed before any other degrees or certifications you may have obtained.

This ordering allows employers to see your most recent educational accomplishments first, which is often more relevant to the position you are applying for.

Additional Considerations

Customize for the job

When including your high school diploma on your resume, it’s important to consider the specific job you are applying for. If the job requires a certain level of education or if it is directly related to your high school studies, it may be beneficial to include your diploma.

However, if the job is more focused on your college degree or work experience, it may not be necessary to include your high school diploma. Remember, the main goal is to showcase your qualifications and relevant experience for the position.

Include GPA if strong

If you had a strong grade point average (GPA) in high school, it can be worth mentioning on your resume. A high GPA can demonstrate your academic abilities and dedication to your studies. However, if your GPA was average or below average, it may be best to leave it off your resume.

Instead, focus on highlighting other achievements or relevant experiences that showcase your skills and qualifications.

Omit if you have higher education

If you have obtained higher education, such as a college degree or vocational certification, it may not be necessary to include your high school diploma on your resume. Employers are typically more interested in your most recent and relevant education.

However, if you have limited work experience or if your high school diploma is directly related to the job you are applying for, it may still be worth including.

It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to including your high school diploma on a resume. Consider the specific requirements of the job, your academic achievements, and your overall qualifications.

By customizing your resume to each job application, you can increase your chances of standing out to potential employers.


Listing your high school diploma accurately and highlighting relevant achievements and skills can help make a strong first impression on resume reviewers. Carefully considering what to include will let employers know you have the background and competencies needed to excel.

With this guide’s tips on formal naming, formatting, relevant details, and customization, you can craft a high school education section that does your accomplishments justice.

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