How Do You Put That You're Still in College on a Job Application?

Even if you bring a resume to a prospective employer, you'll probably be asked to fill out a job application. The standardized format makes it easier for employers to find your information and compare your qualifications to those of other candidates. You should list your highest educational attainment if you are still in college.

Types of Job Applications

Employers use various types of job applications. If you're applying for a job in foodservice, hospitality or retail, it's likely that you'll be given a paper application to fill out right before the job interview. Bring with you a blue or black ballpoint pen so you don't have to ask for one. Print as neatly as you can; an employer is not likely to bother with you if parts of your application are not legible.

Paper applications are fairly standard in terms of the format. Look online for samples such as the one posted by recruitment specialists Betterteam. You may be able to ask for an application form to take with you for completion at home. Use a blue or black ballpoint pen. Although instructions may tell you to "print or type legibly," the use of a typewriter is unusual in the 21st century and not really expected. Besides, it's easier to space your answers neatly if you're hand-writing them.

Online applications may be posted on a company's website or, in some cases, emailed to you as a PDF. Complete each section as carefully as if you were doing it in pen, and do not rely on spellcheck. Some sections may have character or word limits, so plan accordingly in order to include the most important information.

Best Practices for Filling out an Application

The employment website Indeed offers these tips for ensuring you put your best foot forward with your job application:

  • Assemble documentation beforehand:​ Whether you're completing job applications online at home or paper applications on a job site, you'll benefit from having a folder containing all the important documents that employers typically request. You should have your Social Security card, a copy of your resume and a list of references with their contact information.
  • Read the instructions:​ Read through the entire application before you start work on it. You'll know where to put your information so that you can avoid mistakes or repetition.
  • Avoid empty boxes:​ When you leave a section blank or fail to check a box, you can send the message that you don't have an eye for detail or, worse, that you're trying to hide something. If there's a question that does not apply to you, simply write "N/A" for "not applicable."
  • Be open to salary​: When you're asked what salary you desire, use the phrase "Open to negotiation" rather than naming a specific amount. It shows the employer you're flexible.
  • Proofread:​ Allow enough time to go over your application. Make sure of your spelling, grammar and punctuation and be certain you've supplied all the requested information.

If You're Still in College

Some positions, such as registered nurse, have a degree requirement. Because of state licensing laws, an employer cannot hire you until you've graduated. However, degree requirements for many positions can be flexible. Depending on your other qualifications, an employer may hire you without a degree if your anticipated graduation date is near and you've completed coursework that's relevant to the job.

There are several ways to list your highest educational attainment if you are still in college. A high school diploma is assumed, so you don't have to list it. Here are some examples:

  • BA in Communications - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - GPA 3.75 (Expected graduation: May 2022)
  • Associate in General Studies, Bishop State Community College, Mobile, AL. Graduating May 2o22
  • BS in Mathematics and Biology - University of California, Davis - Anticipated graduation: December 2022