Honorary Degrees Usually Not Listed on Resumes

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If you’ve received an honorary doctorate, should you list it on your resume? There are two groups of people who generally have the right to use “Dr.” before their names — and they have all spent about 20 years or so getting educated. The first are those with an earned professional degree, such as in medicine (MD), optometry (OD), osteopathic medicine (DO), pharmacy (Pharm.D), podiatry (PodD, DP, DPM); divinity/ministry (BD, MDiv), law (LLB, JD), and others. The second are those with an earned doctoral degree, the highest degree you can earn for graduate study. The doctoral degree classification includes such degrees as Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Doctor of Public Health, Doctor of Nursing Science (D.NSc.), Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Many universities (and now colleges) grant a degree called an honorary doctorate to persons they want to honor or recognize (usually a dignitary, benefactor, or notable alumni). However, neither the university or the honoree were naive enough to believe the honor actually conferred a full doctorate; thus most people with honorary degrees are discouraged from using them in public, though certainly many do. In the end, of course, it’s the job-seeker’s decision.

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