Crafting an AA Degree Emphasis on Your Resume

Posted in Career Blog

Some people wonder whether they should include their Associate of Arts (AA) degree on their resumes, and if so, how they should go about including these degrees in order to emphasize their usefulness. As a general rule, AA degrees should, in fact, be included, since they reflect intellectual curiosity and advanced education. What follows are some tips for maximizing the effectiveness of these degrees on the resume itself.

One of the most important things to consider when including your AA degree is its placement on the resume. To emphasize this degree, list it under an “Education” heading directly beneath your contact information and objective statement. The degree itself can be abbreviated, but the full name of the institution should be listed, as should the degree date. Any concentration of major granted during study should also be listed when relevant. For example, an initial degree listing might look like the following: A.A. in English, Smith County Community College, 2012.

Course Listings
If the job for which you’re applying closely aligns with the work accomplished during the completion of your A.A. degree, it may also be beneficial to list specific courses. For instance, if you have received an A.A. in English and you are applying for a position as a copywriter at a webzine, list courses that demonstrate your training in a variety of different writing styles. This list would be included in the Education section of your resume, directly below your degree listing, as follows:
Courses Completed
ENGL 123: Writing for the Professions
ENGL 155: Introduction to Journalism
ENGL 199: Composing Web Content

Skills and Abilities
It’s also a good idea to emphasize the benefits of your A.A. degree in a section where you list your skills and abilities. For instance, you might include a summary of your preparation and training for the aforementioned copywriting job as follows: “Thanks to the wide range of writing courses I successfully completed as I worked towards my A.A. degree, I am able to transition from business writing to academic writing to a more conversational ‘blog’ style as needed. As a result of these courses, I am also well trained as a proofreader and editor.”

Honors and Awards
If you received any honors and awards during the course of your A.A. degree, make sure to include these on your resume as well. Listing these will demonstrate that you went above and beyond the basic requirements for the degree. Depending on the nature of your concentration, this section might look like the following:
Honors and Awards
Awarded top prize for 2010 creative writing contest
Named to Dean’s List, 2011-2012
Finally, if you were involved in any extracurricular activities during the completion of your degree that would be pertinent to your job application, include these under a final “Interests and Activities” heading, or under “Work Experience” if relevant. For instance, if you edited the community college paper, “Editor of the SCCC Times” could be filed under either heading, as could experience as the president of a creative writing club or contributor to a literary magazine.

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