Capitalize Latin Honors or No?

Interesting dilemma with this and curious to get people's thoughts. 

Grammatically speaking, latin honors are supposed to be lowercase and italicized as its not actually romanic english (e.g., summa cum laude). 

However, stylistically and formatting consistency wise, italicized and lowercase looks odd in the honors section and stands out. "Honors: Summa Cum Laude, ..." looks better and more uniform than "Honors: summa cum laude, ... (non italicized, upper case words)." 

Love to hear what people have seen others do in their resumes and what is the safest option. For example, I think this aspect of latin is unknown to many, and thus being grammatically correct may actually lead to a formatting ding from an unaware reviewer (whereas someone aware may appreciate the correctness of properly formatted latin). 

At the end of the day, I know none of this matter but mainly curious to satisfy my own OCD and what others in the industry do. 


Based on the most helpful WSO content, the decision to capitalize Latin honors on a resume often depends on the overall style and consistency of the document. Here are some points to consider:

  1. Grammatical Correctness: Traditionally, Latin honors such as "summa cum laude" are written in lowercase and italicized because they are Latin phrases and not proper nouns. This is the grammatically correct method.

  2. Visual Consistency: Many choose to capitalize these honors (e.g., "Summa Cum Laude") on their resumes to maintain visual consistency, especially when listed among other capitalized items. This approach can make the resume appear more uniform and easier to read.

  3. Industry Standards: In the finance industry, and particularly in contexts like investment banking or consulting, the appearance of the resume is crucial. A visually appealing format, even if it slightly deviates from traditional grammatical rules, might be more effective in these fields.

  4. Reviewer Preferences: As you mentioned, not all reviewers may be aware of the correct formatting for Latin phrases. Capitalizing the honors might prevent any misunderstanding or perceived error on the part of less informed reviewers.

  5. Personal Choice and Branding: Ultimately, how you choose to present these honors also reflects your personal branding and attention to detail. If the rest of your resume uses a certain style, aligning the Latin honors with that style can be seen as a thoughtful decision.

In conclusion, while the grammatical rule is to write Latin honors in lowercase and italicized, adapting them to fit the style of your resume and the expectations of your industry can be a practical choice. It's about balancing correctness with effectiveness.

Sources: How much of a "hook" is legacy at a college?, Fordham Gabelli Global Business Honors Program for Free, What are your thoughts on people with pronouns in their signatures?, What are your thoughts on people with pronouns in their signatures?, Rank these degrees in terms of prestige

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.

I've seen many resumes where latin honors are embedded within the degree section ie B.A., summa cum laude, in Political Science. Then the honors section will be filled with like phi beta kappa, beta gamma sigma, scholarships etc.


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