Where To List Certifications On A Resume
Here are a few key places where you can mention any certifications you possess on your resume:
- In your resume header
- In a separate certifications section
- As a bullet point in your work history section
While these five options are all potential places to add a certification, you likely wont want to add the same certification to each of these sections. Where you decide to mention your certifications has a lot to do with your job title and the importance of the certification.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding where to place your certification:
Is my certification practically a job requirement and does it have a commonly-used abbreviation?
Examples: CPA, RN
If yes, these are great certifications to place following your name in the header section of your resume. Youll likely want to note them in the summary as well.
Is my certification a great advantage in my field but shouldnt be placed next to my job title?
If so, make sure to keep your certification right in your summary. Youll also want to add it to your education section.
Do I have various certifications that show my specialization and commitment to the field?
If so, you may want to mention the most important one in your summary and then include all of them in a separate certifications section.
Examples: Safeserv, LEED certification
Did an employer finance my training or did I pass the certification while working a related job?
Examples: Master plumber, CDL
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How To List Certifications On Your Cv Or Rsum
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Putting certifications on your résumé or CV can sometimes take a backseat when ensuring youve got the right buzzwords and soft skills down on the page, but it is still a vitally important section.
Your career objectives and employment history, on the other hand, are subject to your own spin. Whereas your key qualifications and certificates speak for themselves they are undeniable proof of your competencies, and without them, your application might hold no weight.
Therefore, weve compiled a handy guide on what kind of certifications you should include, as well as how to correctly format them.
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You Need To Make Up For A Lack Of Work Experience
If youre looking for your first job in an industry and have no professional experience, listing the correct certification can help you get a foot in the door. If, for instance, you were trying to find your first job as a caterer, it would make your resume stronger to add food safety certifications.
In The Contact Information Section
The contact information section includes your name, address, phone number and email. You may include your certifications in this section, along with your name. This is especially suitable for listing essential certifications that are required for the job. For example, certifications like Certified Public Accountant , Project Management Professional , Accredited Legal Professional , and Certified Nurse Assistant may be listed in the contact information section to let the employers know that you have the required certification.
You may list an acronym if it is commonly used and understood in the industry. However, if you feel that the hiring manager may not recognize the certification by acronym, you should list the complete certification.
- Example 1:
Sometimes, certifications become a part of your professional identity. Including such certifications as part of your email username often helps you get instant visibility. For instance, you may add certifications like CPA, PMP, CNA, etc. toward the end of your email username. However, you should use this as an additional measure to listing your certification.
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Free Online Certifications On A Resume
Yes, listing free online certifications on a resume can be useful.
For example, if you’re in a marketing role, then the HubSpot inbound marketing certification course can be useful to list.
While this course is free. And easy to take online, it still shows a desire to advance yourself.
Because it is an online certification, does not mean that is loses its capacity to impress hiring managers.
Pro tip: Research and review which certifications could be required for your job title before applying for the position.
Why consider taking certifications online?
In some cases, college students may receive college credit for completing these courses.
Additionally, managers see this as a way of advancing yourself. And it shows that you’re genuinely interested/passionate about joining the industry.
This could be a great technique for an entry-level candidate or recent graduate to display that they’re a valuable hire.
Why Should You Add Certification On Resume
Certifications are like adding your accomplishment rather than just the responsibilities.
Why shy away from highlighting your achievement!
A certification on resume is a representation of your urge to keep learning and your dedication to go an extra mile that others may not have thought of.
But if still, you are wondering that why at all should you add a certification on resume, here are some reasons no one will ever tell you about:
Certification Makes The Interview More Conversational
Oh, you got a certification in Python!Makes the interview more conversational
For better negotiation
Differentiate you from the rest
When I was about to complete my B.tech in software engineering, I researched the most sought out programming language and finally settled at the Course by !
Awesome, but why did you take this extra effort!
Because I am a life-long learner, and keeping myself updated keeps me motivated to take up any challenge and deliver the best results!
See how the conversation just because of certification on resume highlighted your technical skills and your soft skills.
Your certifications on resume reflect the employers that you have upgraded your skill-sets with time. In addition, they may ask specific questions related to the course, which gives you the chance to glorify yourself even better and speak at length about the particular skill you acquired.
Certifications Let You Negotiate Better
Willing to know the secret to get a better pay package than your counterparts?
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It Displays Relevant Standout Skill Sets
Applicants often struggle to convey what they can actually do for a company. Speaking confidently about a skillset that youve developed can help guide interviewers in the right direction. Online courses on your CV provides a clear-cut example of what you know and what you can get done.
Online courses are also a great way to showcase unique skills that set you apart from other qualified candidates, which is becoming increasingly important as more and more companies look for candidates with a diverse mix of experience .
For example, if youre a marketing professional, it can be beneficial to highlight additional data analysis skills. These skills may even help you negotiate a higher salary. According to Burning Glass Technologies, often, the introduction of a single hybrid skill can increase salaries by up to 40%.
Looking to add unique skill sets to your resume? Try an introductory program in data science or computer science, or strengthen soft skills with a certificate in agile project management.
If The Employer Or Position Specifically Requires Certification
This is the most important reason for adding certifications to your resume. If the job description clearly states that they require a specific certification to be considered for the position, this is your opportunity to highlight your qualifications. Review the company website and job posting to identify the required certifications to highlight on your resume.
Some positions are government regulated, and you require certification to practice your profession legally, such as medical doctors, registered nurses, or mutual fund professionals. In these cases, you also want to highlight the certifications that allow you to perform the position’s required duties.
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In The Education Section
Most of the certifications go naturally with educational degrees, making the education section the most suitable place to list your certifications. However, you may want to modify the heading of this section in order to let recruiters know that you have included your certifications there. For instance, you may name it something like Education and Certifications or Education and Other Credentials instead of just Education. Just like in case of experience and education, list the certifications beginning with the latest one.
- Example: CPR certification, American Heart Association, 2017
For Certifications That Are Essential For Your Job
If you are, say, a nurse, accountant, social worker, or other professional who cant actually practice your field without your certification, youll want to make it very obvious, usually mentioning it more than once. It should go in both your header next to your name and in an education, skills, or training section. For example, if youre a licensed social worker, you would list Your Name, LSW.
If the certification is required but doesnt have a title or degree associated with it, then put it near the top in your resume objective.
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Required Certifications On A Resume
Many professions require its employees to hold certain licenses or certifications. According to the BLS, over 65% of people employed in legal occupations hold licenses and certificates. 76% of Healthcare practitioners hold licenses and certifications.
Some professions may require more than one certificate. For examples, lawyers that have passed the bar need to indicate membership of a stateâs bar. The job description will usually make required certifications clear. These certifications need to be listed on your resume.
Do you work in Nursing, Accounting, or Finance? These industries typically require licenses and certifications.
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Essential Tips To Add Certification On Resume The Right Way
Including certificates on your resume can help you stand out to a potential employer. Here are some helpful hints to consider when determining which qualifications to add or where to list certificates on a resume:
- Carefully read the job description to determine which certifications on your resume are relevant.
- Determine whether your certificates are required, preferred, or optional for the position.
- To list your relevant skills, select the appropriate section on your resume. While listing old certification on a resume, mention precisely just as a talking point instead of taking precious resume space.
- There is no need to mention expired certifications on resume unless the certification is an essential one.
- Before abbreviating, make sure you list the certification name in its entirety at least once. This increases your chances of passing an ATS scan significantly.
- Certifications on resume should not be confused with awards or honors, certificates from free online courses, or certificates for training. Use the same font as used in the overall resume.
- When sending a digital resume, hyperlink the accreditation body for easy reference when you mention certifications on resume.
- Grab some of the best certifications that add immense value to your resume.
Here are the top 10 certifications you should opt for:
How To List A Certificate Not Yet Received On Your Resume
Education and certificates are an essential part of your resume because they show a potential employer that you dont just have valuable experience, but you have training-backed experience. In addition, showing the employer that you are currently getting a certificate can emphasize that you are passionate enough about the field to continually better yourself. Thus, you should list a certificate not yet received on your resume, but you should do it in such a way that it is clear you are not already certified.
Write the name of the certificate as the first item under the experience or training section of your resume. Include the name of the certificate and the granting organization. Write the name of the certificate first, followed by the granting organization on the next line. Format these items so they are flush left. Use bolding, italics and font consistent with the rest of your resume.
Type expected and the date you intend to receive your certificate on the same line as the certificates title, but align it to the right. List the exact date, if you have it, or the month, semester or year if you do not. For example, expected Summer 2011.
You can add the words “enrolled in” before the certificate title and “program” after if there is any confusion about whether you are currently in the program. However, avoid extra words whenever possible to make the resume concise and easy to scan.
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Using Certifications To Your Advantage
When you dont have much experience in a field or are trying to make a career switch, a relevant certification or two can work to your advantage in convincing a hiring manager that youre worth an interview.
You may decide to go out and complete courses on your own to show employers that youre serious about working in the field. This investment of time and money, along with a great resume and the right transferable skills can sometimes be enough to win you the job even with no experience.
To use certifications to your advantage on your resume, make sure to place them at the beginning of your summary section. This area at the top of the page is likely to catch a hiring managers attention as they begin to scan your resume. You can also mention your certification again in your experience or education sections.
Project Management Certifications For Your Resume:
When it comes to certificates for Project Managers they are always a plus.
They show that youve invested lots of time to boost your career and learn new skills. And that you also wanted to get better knowledge for your work.
If your certificates are from trusted organizations. If they vouch for you, its a good thing for the Hiring Manager to trust them.
What are the best project management certificates to feature on your resume?
You can see our Top 10 list:
More on the topic of a perfect Sales resume see here.
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Certifications Section Has To Be Separate
There are candidates who find it comfortable to add up certifications in any section of the resume.
Certifications sound like a thing with least priority actually holds a lot of importance for the recruiter.
Mixing the certifications with other skills or awards section will not make any impact on the recruiter.
For that matter, the recruiter might even skip reading your certifications if you do not have a separate section for them
Let us do a test.
Give yourself not more than 3 seconds for each resume and assume yourself to be a recruiter.
Tell us which image makes a better impact.
The second image is:-
We are very sure that the image with a separate certifications section must have impressed you.
So go ahead and safely add all your training programs and certifications list in this section.
Other Ways To Incorporate Your Online Course Certificates
Adding your certificate onto your resume isn’t the only way to convey its value. Hiring managers care about what you know and what you can do. If you have a valuable skill, chances are no one’s going to press you about where you learned it.
If you’re on the fence about adding a certificate, consider “deconstructing” it.
Online courses can break down into a set of skills. If you already have a section devoted to “skills” or “additional skills,” then this method is easy. Figure out which skills are most relevant and drop them into your resume in place of a certificate.
You can also use the “past experience” section of your resume. This is less common because it assumes a few things. First, you’ll need to have put something you learned to use on the job. Second, that experience should have led to a positive outcome.
Writing a strong bullet here can make a strong impression. To a hiring manager, the knowledge you gained from a course is now practical and applicable. Presumably, you’ll also have added strong keywords to your resume.
If in the end, you still can’t find a good place for your certificates, consider the cover letter. Having one adds a personal touch to your application. You would also be able to explain the value of your certificate in a way you couldn’t on a resume.
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