If you are applying for a job with a US employer, do not go back beyond college.   There are some countries in this crazy world where employers are, evidently, interested in primary and secondary school days of glory.  From what I can tell, these tend to be countries that were connected to England in its days of glory, so maybe living in the past (which I am all for, by the way) has something to do with it.  However, unless you are in a country where an employer is likely to know, or care, what a ‘best boy in the second form’ is, do not include it on your resume.

Even in enlightened lands like ours, however, there are choices of how much information to include, and it really depends on how close you are to the degree/educational experience in question.  If you are, for example, a recent ‘master’, details from time spent on that is relevant and if you can note briefly that you graduated with honors, or received an award, or had high grades, or a particularly interesting thesis topic, you should do so.  If, however, it’s been 20 years since you got your last letter grade, you can leave out things beyond degree, school, dates.  You can even omit the thesis topic for your Ph.D. dissertation - if it’s been a long time (and you aren’t applying for an academic job), unless it is directly relevant to the job you are applying for.  If the topic clearly shows how old you are (e.g., ‘Conversion of Punch Card Data to Fortran: An Empirical Approach’ for your computer science Ph.D. from 1974 or ‘Single Payer Health Care is Just Around the Corner’ from your public policy Ph.D. also in 1974), definitely drop it.   Employers might hire an older person, but it’s still best not to trumpet how pre-historic you may be.

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