Getting your GCSEs right on your CV is important.
Hiring managers really like these qualifications. They tell them how educated and skilled you are, especially for those entry-level jobs.
Detailing your GCSEs in the right spots on your CV will help catch the eye of recruiters, opening doors to interviews.
But if you miss them out entirely or put them in the wrong places, you might let some brilliant job interviews slip away.
In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how to list your GCSEs on your CV, and we’ve got 9 examples to show you the way.
4 examples of GCSEs on a CV
Here are four examples of how your GCSE details should be laid out on a CV.
School student’s GCSEs (still studying)
If you’re still studying your GCSEs at school, it’s a good idea to present your predicted GCSE grades on your CV. These are like educated guesses about the grades you might achieve in your final exams.
They’re created by your teachers and are based on how well you’re doing in your classes and other things like practice exams.
This gives hiring managers an idea of your potential and what you’re working towards. For some jobs, such as ones that need lots of maths like an accountant, good predicated grades in maths can be super important.
You’ll also need to include plenty of detail on any extracurricular activities, clubs and achievements, to show recruiters you’ve got the skills and motivation to transition into the working world.
Because school is where you’ve gained most of your skills, you need to keep it front and centre!
School leaver GCSEs
If you’ve just completed your GCSEs, it’s crucial to include plenty of detail about them on your CV – because you want to show off just how talented you are.
Add all of your GCSEs to your education section, including the grades you achieved, and go the extra mile by detailing coursework, club membership, awards – or anything else that allows you demonstrate workplace skills and achievements.
Since you probably won’t have any direct work experience, yet including as much detail as possible about your GCSEs is an excellent to prove your suitability for the jobs you are applying to.
Recent graduate GCSEs
If you have recently graduated, employers will mainly be interested in your degree – but it will still be beneficial to include your GCSEs to prove a track record of academic success.
Your degree steals the show because it usually holds more weight and relevance for the job you’re applying for.
So just include a brief summary of your GCSEs underneath your degree and A-levels.
For example, “GCSE, Town School of Science and Technology: 2007-2009 – 10 passes, including Maths, English, and Music.”
Experienced professional GCSEs
If you’ve been in the working environment for some time and you’re experienced in your field, you don’t need to go all out on your GCSEs. Just briefly mention them.
Include your GCSE grades in the Education section, but avoid going into too much detail.
It’s better to describe jobs you’ve had that demonstrate your skills, talents, and passion for the position you’re interested in – this is much more likely to attract hiring managers.
Rather than listing your GCSE grades one by one, you’d do this:
- Group grades together – Rather than listing every GCSE grade separately, group them in the education section, for instance: GCSEs – 10 GCSEs grades 9-4, including Maths and English.
- Emphasise key subjects – If you’d like to highlight certain subjects, just list the subject’s name and grade, for example, Science – 8, English – 7.
If you do this, it shows hiring managers an easy-to-digest snapshot of your secondary school achievements.
Rather than listing each grade one by one, you can summarise them so they can see the key subjects you did well in.
Should you list GCSEs on your CV?
You’re probably wondering if you should mention GCSEs on your CV. Well, it’s fairly straightforward.
You’ll need to include GCSEs on your CV if:
- You’re a school leaver – If you’re just starting your career after finishing school, GCSEs show hiring managers you’re clever and ready to learn, even if you don’t have much work experience.
- They are relevant – If you are an experienced candidate applying for jobs in the science field, then it’s worth mentioning your A-star in biology. But if your GCSEs aren’t relevant to your target jobs, and you have plenty of work experience, then recruiters will not be interested in them.
If in doubt put them in – If you’re still unsure about whether or not to add your GCSEs to your CV, then just add them in one brief line at the bottom of your education section. This way they can be seen if employers need to view them, but they don’t take up much space in cases where they aren’t being looked at.
How to write GCSEs on a CV
If you want to add GCSEs to your CV, this is how you’d do it.
- Course or qualification name – In this case, it’s GCSEs, which stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education.
- Academic organisation or school name – List the name of the school or academic institution you studied at. For example, F. Kennedy School.
- The dates you’re likely to complete your studies – These are the years you’re going to finish your GCSEs. For example, 2007 – 2009. This helps recruiters see how up-to-date your certifications are.
- Specify subjects – If you’re still studying or a school leaver, specify the subjects you’re studying individually, like Science, English Literature, Maths or French. It’s important to state Maths and English, as numerous hiring managers deem them a bare minimum academic achievement.
- State your grades – Remember to include the grades you’ve earned in numbers like 9-6 (A*- C). For example, Science – 9, Maths – 7, French – 6 to give recruiters a glimpse into your educational potential.
- Mention modules – You can also choose to add a little more info about the modules you’ve covered to date, particularly if they’re directly relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Where to put GCSEs on your CV
When writing your CV, you must know exactly where to place your GCSEs, as these qualifications are your ticket to golden opportunities in the working world.
Adding your GCSE grades in the right places paints a clearer picture of your skillset as a student or school leaver, making it crystal clear what you bring to the table.
Here’s how to place them strategically in the Education and Personal Profile sections of your CV.
The education section on your CV is where you talk about your educational activities, such as the names of your schools, when you went there, and the grades you got.
This is where you should put GCSEs on your CV.
But if you have any higher level qualifications like A-levels or degrees, put these first in your education section. Next, insert your GCSE section underneath them.
If you’re a student or school leaver, you can talk about your eagerness to learn, any specific career interests, and a bit about your personality.
“I’m a recent school leaver with a strong foundation in education, including excellent GCSE results in subjects such as Maths, English, and Science. I’m keen to apply my knowledge and develop in an energetic work setting.”
How to format GCSEs on a CV
Once you have your GCSEs written down, it’s time to make them look smart on your CV.
- Head bold text – So that your GCSEs stand out, use bold text to head them, and make it easy for recruiters to find.
- Use bullet points – Keep things organised by using bullet points. this allows busy recruiters to skim read the information on the page.
- Keep things consistent – Everything needs to look the same throughout your CV. So, if you bold your GCSEs, do the same for all of them. The same goes for fonts and bullet points – consistency is key here.
What to include for each GCSE entry
If you’re a recent school leaver or student and are including all your GCSEs on your CV, you’ll need to state the following:
- Your school’s name
- The GCSE subjects you took
- The grades you achieved (4 to 9)
- The year you finished your GCSEs
- Any modules applicable to the position you’re applying for
- Relevant coursework
- Awards and achievements
GCSE optional info
Don’t forget, your CV is like your story, so it’s up to you to select which details make it shine the brightest.
So, let’s look in more detail at what you don’t have to add – like the chocolate flake on an ice cream. Not everyone does, but it can make your CV stand out even more.
Exam board names
You often see people putting the names of the exam boards that created the GCSEs on their CVs. This just says which company produced the examination itself.
When it’s useful – Consider including exam board names if you think it’ll be beneficial. Perhaps you did well in a certain subject – this shows off your skills. Or if the job you’re applying for really cares about which exam board you did, then include it.
Not always essential – Most of the time, exam board names just aren’t essential. A hiring manager normally cares more about your grades and the subjects you took than the exam board.
If these are relevant to the job you’re applying for, it’s a good idea to include them. Leave out modules that have no bearing on the job you’re going for.
When it’s useful – If the subjects are related to the job you’re applying for, include them as it shows you have skills that match the job. For example, if you’re going for a science position, mention specific modules that make you stand out, like your achievements in chemistry or biology.
Not always essential – If the modules or subjects don’t have much to do with the job you want, it’s best to skip them. For example, if you’re going for a marketing role, your maths module probably won’t be relevant.
Year of completion
When you share the year you completed your GCSEs on your CV, it helps employers see how current your education is. In turn, they’ll have a clearer picture of your education journey.
It’s a good idea to add this information when you are a school leaver or junior candidate – but if you have many years of experience, recruiters will not need to see the year you completed your GCSEs, so you can just leave it off.
What are GCSEs?
GCSE means General Certificate of Secondary Education. It’s a set of significant exams you take when you’re 16 years old, in secondary school.
You can think of them as a way to demonstrate what you’ve learned in subjects such as Maths, Science, and others.
In terms of your CV, your GCSEs are a little like the foundation of a house. They’re the backbone that helps develop your education story.
Hiring managers enjoy seeing these qualifications because it helps them understand a bit more about your skills and knowledge, especially if you’re only just starting your career.
If you want to know more about how the grading used to work and how it’s different now, take a look at this article on the BBC News website which breaks it down nicely for you.
Common mistakes to avoid
You should never overload your CV with GCSE details – it’s not really the best idea.
So let’s talk about why it’s a mistake and what you can leave off your CV to keep it sweet and simple.
We’ll also touch on why fibbing about your GCSEs isn’t a smart idea, what happens if you get caught, and why it’s better to keep it real.
Overfilling with details
While you might be tempted to inform everyone about your GCSEs, the truth is that too much of a good thing isn’t always good.
- Information overload – If you list every GCSE subject, your grades, the exam board, your cat’s name (just kidding), and everything else, your CV gets overcrowded and tricky to read. Hiring managers want to see the important stuff quickly.
- Losing concentration – When you exaggerate it, your GCSEs might take the limelight from your other certifications or experiences. It’s a bit like one topping that’s so overwhelming you can’t taste the ice cream any more.
So here’s what to keep out of your CV:
- Irrelevant GCSEs – Don’t include subjects that have nothing to do with the job you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a tech position, employers won’t care about your GCSE in drama.
- Age-old GCSEs – If you’ve been in the working game for a while and you have more recent qualifications like A-levels or a degree, trim down the GCSE details. Include the important ones without going into every minute detail. For example, write “7 GCSEs grades 9-4.”
Not being honest about your grades
Let’s say you’re playing cards, and are considering cheating. Well, similarly to a card game, it’s always better to be honest in terms of your GCSE grades on your CV.
If you write down false grades, and the hiring manager finds out (and sometimes they do), they may think you aren’t reliable – it’ll raise a big red flag.
If a company hires you based on dishonest information and later learns the truth, you may lose your job. Do you really want that headache?
If you’re caught lying, it can damage your professional reputation. Hiring managers may disclose info about untruthful applicants within their industry networks.
A quick tip: Employers appreciate honesty because it shows you’re reliable – honesty is like the foundation of a good CV. So, always be truthful about your GCSE grades so you start your career on the right foot.
Top tips for writing GCSEs on a CV
Now, we’ll show you how to use numbers to brag about your achievements and how to make your GCSEs fit perfectly with the job you want.
Quantify your achievements
So, you’ve got your GCSEs on your CV – great. But how do you make them stand out?
One way is to add some numbers and particulars to prove what you’ve actually achieved. You can do this in the personal profile and education sections of your CV.
- Use numbers – Rather than saying “Great at Science”, say something like “Earned a grade 9 in Science.” Essentially, you’re giving your skills a grade.
- Rather than saying “Enjoyed Maths,” you’d say “Achieved a grade 8 in GCSE Maths.”
Tailor to the job
Your GCSEs are sort of like the ingredients in a recipe – you need the right ones for the job you’re applying for.
- Tailor it to the job – Read what the job advert is asking for. Do they want someone good at English? If yes, then highlight your English GCSE.
- Make sure it’s relevant – Let’s say you’re applying for a tech job. Employers probably won’t care about your GCSE in art. So, concentrate on the subjects and grades that count for that specific role such as computer science or even physics.
A quick tip: It’s critical to keep things relevant, as it shows the hiring manager you’ve got the right ingredients for the job. So, ensure your GCSEs match the job you want.
Remember, your GCSEs are like the foundation of your education story. Tailor them to the job you’re applying for by highlighting what matters the most.
Insert numbers to demonstrate your achievement and, more significantly, always be truthful about your grades.
Your CV is your story, and if you keep it honest and relevant, you’ll make sure hiring managers see the real you.