If you are just starting your career, then one of the best ways to enhance your resume is to list cum laude on your resume. Graduating college with cum laude distinction sets you apart from the rest, and it is no small accomplishment. As a hiring manager looking for fresher candidates, your prospective employer will be impressed to see cum laude on your resume. It can often become the determining factor when it comes to securing a job and finding a foothold in the industry. However, there is a manner in which you should list cum laude on your resume.
Firstly, you need to understand what cum laude is. It is a distinction that outgoing college students are often awarded for their achievements during their college years. This recognition is Latin and stands for “with honor” or “with praise.” It is one of the three Latin honors, the other two being Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude.
It ultimately depends on the university which honor they are going to bestow on the students based on their academic achievements. The merit is usually decided on the basis of completed credit hours, grade-point average, and class rank. The cum laude is presented to the student at their graduation ceremony, and it also appears on their college diploma. Some colleges and universities go a step further, and they also present the students with insignia to wear during the ceremony.
Is it Proper to List Cum Laude on a Resume?
Some people erroneously believe that the cum laude is only suitable for the academic domain, and listing it on the resume is not correct. However, graduating with distinction is a significant achievement, and it reflects your dedication and perseverance. Prospective employers look for these qualities in new candidates, which can become a game-changer when competing with thousands of other candidates looking for a job fresh out of college.
Moreover, many applicant tracking systems or ATS often include cum laude as a keyword, and hence it can be crucial as the resume could be selected till the highest screening procedure. This becomes a significant factor as fresher candidates have little to no experience and the distinction in academics is a critical milestone they have covered.
Hence, adding it to your resume is absolutely alright and is encouraged by many recruiters. An applicant will have an edge while applying for jobs that require strong academic backgrounds.
Procedure for Listing Cum Laude on the Resume
Here is how you can list cum laude on the resume, as knowing where to include it can help you get the most out of it.
1. The Efficiency of Cum Laude
You may consider including cum laude on your resume if you are fresh out of college or only have a few months of work experience behind you. However, if you have already spent years in the industry and have garnered greater awards and recognitions during the course of your career, then you may consider leaving it out.
However, in a competitive industry, every distinction you have earned through the course of your career counts, and finding a way to include it is just going to work to your advantage.
2. Choosing Where to Place Cum Laude
You can place the cum laude distinction in your resume’s “Awards and Honors” section. Be sure to add the name of the college and university from where you received it. However, an important thing to remember here is that if you include cum laude under this section, then the cum laude must not be the only distinction here.
Try to add at least two more awards and distinctions here to make it relevant. A list of three to four awards would be ideal. If there are no other awards, you can include them along with your education section.
3. Use of Correct Formatting
The right kind of formatting is essential to make potential employers notice your cum laude. Incorrect formatting may cause the list to disappear, among other aspects of the resume. The hiring manager might not notice it. One of the best ways of writing cum laude is to make good use of italics.
You should write in lowercase and then use italics to write about cum laud. You can write it in the same line where you mentioned your educational degrees. Or, if there are too many of them, you can write about cum laud in a separate line.
4. Including GPA in Resume
While you might have included your cum load, you must also consider whether you want to include your GPA as well or not. Anyhow, including both is really not a necessity, and you should only include both of them if you have had a very high GPA. It will show that you received a cum laude as well as had a high GPA.
However, you will have to include your GPA and your cum laude if your employer specifically asks for it. On the other hand, if the institution you graduated from has exceptionally high standards for getting the cum laude, you must definitely include both. It will definitely help you stand apart from the rest of the candidates.
Examples For Listing Cum Laude Distinction
You can use this example as a template to list your cum laude. You can customize it based on your institution and other requirements.
If you are including cum laude in the education section along with the degree, here is how you list it on your resume.
The University of Minnesota**, 2011-2015
Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medicine, summa cum laude
If you are including the cum laude in a separate line of the education section, then here is how you list it on your resume.
The University of Minnesota, 2011-2014
Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medicine
Honors: summa cum laude (GPA: 3.8/4.0)
If you include the cum laude in separate awards and honors sections, then here is how you list it on your resume with the other achievements and awards.
Graduated summa cum laude
Cumulative GPA of 4.0/4.0
Held 1st position in Student’s Debate Championship
Vice President of Student’s Body of Young Lawyers Club
Received dean’s list every semester
Essential Tips for Listing Cum Laude on Resumes
Here are some tips to help you list your cum laude on your resume in a more effective manner.
1. Thoroughly Go through the Job Description
The job description is the key to understanding what the employer wants. They provide all the specific information needed to apply for the job. Some of them will specifically ask you to list the details of the honors and achievements you have acquired during your academic years. Being able to cite your cum load at this point can be very beneficial.
2. Not Making Resume Related Mistakes
One of the things you should avoid while placing cum laud on your resume is to mistakenly include it under the “Skills and Experience” section. This section is meant for your work skills and experience, and if you are a fresher candidate with no work experience, you can leave it blank or only include the skills you have acquired.
However, placing your cum laude under this section is erroneous. It will make your resume construction incorrect and could have a negative impact on how your employer views your judgment.
3. Other Areas to Include your Cum Laude Distinctio
Some of the other places where you can include your cum laude distinction are to include it in your cover letter or your summary. This can be a good way of listing your cum laude in case you cannot have it in your resume for making it too long or because there are other higher qualifications you would like to highlight there.
However, this way, you would still ensure that the hiring managers and the recruiters would come across the accomplishments during your academic years while reviewing your application.
The Cum Laude is a feather in your cap that you have achieved during your college and university days due to your hard work, grit, and dedication. Not everyone gets this distinction, and it can be a lifelong asset when you look for jobs. Apart from the direct impact on your career, it also instills confidence in you, and you know you are capable of great work. The prospective recruiters and hiring managers are sure to be impressed by someone who has dedicated so much time and effort to get this distinction, and it will prove to be a great stepping stone for you.