How To Track Your Achievements
If you track your achievements on a regular basis, your future self will thank you. You never know what opportunity could be around the corner, so rather than throwing together a last-minute list , it’s better to maintain an ongoing record. That way, you’ll be prepared to apply and avoid the small things that could stop you from getting a promotion, and instead be able to find a new role or negotiate your salary at a performance review.
Tracking your achievements need not be difficult in fact, it can be as simple as recording your details in a work diary. The more creative or technically proficient among you may prefer to build an online portfolio.
We also recommend keeping a record on a master copy of your CV. It doesn’t need to be perfect or pretty, as long as the key information is on there including dates. Then, when you’re ready to take your next step, you’ll simply need to copy the relevant details onto your tailored CV. LinkedIn serves equally well, with the advantage of having your successes immediately visible to your network. You may even find that your newly updated profile leads to job offers before you’ve even started applying!
List Awards Under The Right Sections
When listing your awards and accomplishments, you usually want to put them under their respective education or employment history sections. If the award is part of your education history, include it under your education summary. If it is relevant to past work experience, include it with your employment history. If the award is outside your scope of work and particularly impressive, such as an annual civic award, then include it in a separate awards section to highlight it.
Military Awards On A Resume
Similarly, if you have served in the army and havemilitary awards this is also very impressive and it can demonstrate that you have a range highly-valuable soft skills including discipline, organization, communication skills, leadership, planning, decision-making, and the ability to perform under pressure.
You can include a military award on your resume under your professional experience section. Or if you have many you could create a separate awards section.
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Types Of Awards To Include On A Resume
Here is a list of common awards to include on a resume. Remember, the accomplishments you include should remain relevant to your current career goals.
- Academic or athletic awards
- Awards of excellence in voluntary activities
- Academic achievements
- Dean’s list or honor roll
- School leadership positions
- Professional association awards
Where To Include Awards And Honors In Your Resume
First and foremost, be sure to create a separate section for your awards and honors. You have received recognition, and you need that to stand out so potential employers take notice. This section should include the awards you have won, the date they were received, the purpose of the awards, the significance of the awards and their scope . While this section does need to stand out, it shouldnt be the main focus of your resumeexperience, if you have any, should be the main focus.
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Include Significant Awards Only
Consider how relevant each award you want to add to your resume is to the role. You want to show your skills and characteristics in a way that is targeted to the job you are applying for. Only include awards that are relevant to your current career goals. For example: if you earned an award for eating the most hot dogs in an hour, it may not be relevant to include that award on an application for a software engineering position.
How Should I List Awards On My Resume
Awards should have their own section on your resume. There is specific information you want to display about your award. Remember, not all who see your resume will understand the importance of the award, so its your job to communicate why in order to help you rise above the rest.
In order to help the employer or recruiter understand what makes the award worth mentioning, make sure you include a variety of information regarding the award, but tactfully and succinctly. You do not need to take up too much valuable real estate on your resume going into too much detail.
The left or right hand side of a traditional 2 column resume lends itself perfectly to the position for where awards go. If you are have high achievements you may wish to put the on the first page, otherwise further down the resume is fine. Below are a couple of examples of how weve featured awards on our resume templates, notice the header on the second example uses Achievements rather than awards, go with the terminology you are most comfortable with.
Example Resume shown is the following Freelancer Resume
Example resume shown is from the following Finance Resume
The final example is slightly different and lends itself nicely for showcasing achievements in a resume for students. Weve covered student CV writing in depth but the following is a nice way to list honors under the education heading whilst still giving it room in its own right.
Example resume shown is from the following Professional Resume
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Academic Awards And Honors
Academic awards and honors should be the only items listed under the Awards section on your Common Application. This section may not be lengthy if your school does not offer many awards, and thats okay.
Examples of academic awards include, but are not limited to:
- AP Scholar
- Any honor society such as, International Thespian Society, National Honor Society, etc.
- Honor Roll
- Subject-specific exams
- Winner of a science fair or academic competition
Examples Of Including Awards On Your Resume
No matter how you decide to add your awards to your resume, we have a few examples for you. Just remember, its tempting to include all of the awards youve won and accomplishments youre proud of, but make sure everything you include is relevant.
Even if youre super proud of an award, if it doesnt have meaning to whoever is reading your resume, it might not help you get the job. You can always bring it up in your cover letter where relevant, or mention it when you have an interview, though.
Including awards as a separate section:
AWARDS, CERTIFICATES, & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Dental Public Health Certification- National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards, 2020
Guest contributor- Dental Weekly Magazine, 2020
Dental Care for Infants Course- Dental Care by Crest & Oral B, 2019
Best Dental Provider 2019- Springfield Community Board, 2019
Certificate for International Volunteer Service- American Dental Association, 2018
Including awards in resume sections:
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It Highlights Your Leadership Potential
An impressive academic honor or award will also emphasize your leadership potential. These are typically awards that involve group or collaborative work. So if you ever led others to successas a captain or president, for instancethis kind of honor would look great to potential colleges.
Just make sure that you explain on your application what kind of role you had and how your leadership specifically led your team to success.
Academic Honors Examples of Leadership/Group Awards
- Volunteer awards
- Girl Scouts or Eagle Scouts awards
If Its Relevant To The Position
If your unfinished degree is relevant to the job youre applying for, include details that show your hiring manager the experience and knowledge youve gained from your education.
Include any relevant coursework or the number of credits completed in your education section. You should also include any academic achievements that demonstrate excellence in your field of study.
Heres an example of how to list unfinished college on your resume if its highly relevant to the job:
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN Ann Arbor, Michigan2018-2020, GPA: 3.8/4.0Completed 75 credits towards a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a specialization in Urban Planning
- Awarded the Abrams Family Internship Scholarship for my internship at Ann Arbor City Government Planning and Development Department.
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How To Include Awards And Achievements On Your Resume
When you apply for a job, it’s likely that you’ll be measured against other candidates with similar work experience and education. This is because hiring managers often sift through hundreds of applications a day finding a qualified candidate for the available role. Your resume is the first tool seen by the hiring manager that can help you stand out from others in your field.
In particular, the awards section on your resume can be used to highlight your expertise and abilities to perform well in the job you’re applying for. In this article, we detail what awards you should include on your resume and how you should include them.
Making The List: Title Ranking & Description
Know the correct title of the award you are listing. Look at the certificate, medal, trophy or other item to ensure its correct.
List the most significant based on the level of recognition first. The highest level of recognition is where you should begin: international, to national, to state, to community to school. For example, if you placed 1st in district but 2nd in state in a debate competition, you would list the 2nd place first since it was at a higher level.
Next, determine the selectivity for the award. Being an honor roll student is not a very selective award as it is very common, especially since so many students are working to get into their college or university of choice. This would be near the bottom of the list based on selectivity. So, if you are a National Merit award winner that would be placed above honor roll studentif you choose to list honor roll student in one of the slots provided for awards.
The description of the award should be short and specific. Think Twitter..140 characters or less, but use proper spelling and grammar with no hashtags. Focus your keywords on the selectivity of the award. Do not use unnecessary information. Choose impactful verbs demonstrating selectivity to begin the description: Awarded, Achieved recognition for, Recognized as, etc.
- Selected as one of five recipients of 500 applicants.
- Awarded second place in a state competition with over 1,000 participants.
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What Types Of Awards Should You List On A Resume
When you’re creating your resume, it’s important to include only the awards, honors or accomplishments that pertain to the role you’re applying for. The more relevant the awards are, the better. For example, if you’re applying for a graphic design position, you’ll want awards in design or illustration. An award you received in your high school chemistry class wouldn’t be as useful. This is because this award doesn’t accurately represent the skills you’ll need for the designer role you’re applying for.
Though you should be proud of all your accomplishments, it’s important to discern which ones outshine the rest and will help you advance in the interview process. Here are some examples of achievements or awards categories that you can list on your resume:
Make sure these awards and achievements showcase how you’ve excelled in your field within these categories. Listing your achievements is only beneficial if they highlight your expertise rather than something considered ordinary. In addition, it’s important to not include awards that showcase how you met standard expectations. For example, you should refrain from including an award on your punctuality or friendliness with other employees, because that’s already expected of you as an employee. Instead, opt for achievements that show your ability to go above and beyond in the workplace.
If Youre Currently Pursuing A Degree
If youre still enrolled in school and plan on graduating, list your expected graduation date alongside the name of the school and its location in the education section of your resume.
Heres an example of how to list an expected graduation date on a resume:
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT DENVER Denver, COExpected graduation: June 2024
One way you can strengthen this section is by including any additional details that will demonstrate your relevant skills and qualifications to a hiring manager, such as academic achievements or relevant coursework.
Some examples of additions to include are:
- Academic awards
Including these will show a potential employer that youre disciplined and making the most out of your ongoing education.
Heres an example of how you can list achievements in your education section:
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT DENVER Denver, COB.A. in CommunicationsGPA: 3.7/4.0, Deans List for 3 semesters
- Awarded the Sarah Parker Scholarship for academic excellence, 2019
Additionally, heres how to list coursework on your resume:
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT DENVER Denver, COB.A. in Communications
Relevant coursework: Media Writing Skills, New Media Production and Management, Social Media for Social Change
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Where To List Honors On Your Resume
When deciding where to place your academic honors on a resume, you have several options, including:
- Create a separate Awards and Achievements section. If youd like to display several academic achievements on your resume, add a separate section to ensure the hiring manager sees them. You can usually place this section directly below or beside a professional experience section.
- List honors in your education section. Another option is to create bullet points below each degree in your education section, which provides employers with a brief list of notable dates and achievements. This is most effective if you only have a few listings.
- Use subsections below each degree. It helps to organize your academic achievements and activities into subsections in your education section beneath each degree. You can relate these aspects of your educational background with one another and create a narrative of your college experience. Using this method, you would make a subsection for your honors and activities and list your most relevant and notable accomplishments.
Wherever and however you decide to list your honors on a resume, make sure that the placement is logical and well-organized. This helps employers learn about your qualifications and work ethic.
Should You List Honors On Your Resume
Listing your honors on your resume can help you stand out from other applicants with similar qualifications. Tailor your resume to fit your honors and accomplishments and highlight their relevance to the position and industry. Understanding when and how to add honors can help you create a more competitive resume that stands out to hiring managers.
Here are some examples of times when it is especially beneficial to incorporate academic honors into your resume:
If you have strong academic honors and space, add a select few to help you stand out.
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Should I Include High School Achievements On My Resume
When deciding on listing high school accomplishments on your resume, a good rule to follow is the one discussed in our education blog. When you have enough work experience or graduated from college, no longer list high school or any type of awards associated with it.
For those still in high school or college or who have recently graduated and lack skills and experience include them. It shows a prospective hiring manager you garnered high school awards to back up skills.
Academic Achievement Examples
Certain industries place more of an emphasis on academic endeavors. Good examples include the legal profession and academia.Those seeking attorney positions may want to consider two subheaders for each degree to include honors and activities. This format is helpful for entry-level attorneys, those that recently graduated law school or students pursuing JDs with pending graduation dates.Consider the following examples:Yale Law School, JD, Dec. 2019Yale Law School, JD Candidate Jan. 20202Yale University, BA in Political Science, May 2016Now, take that a couple of steps further to include honors related to academic achievements.Under each school, list activities and honors beyond items related to GPA. See how using subheaders work under each degree:Yale Law School JD Dec. 2019ActivitiesYale Daily News, Editor in ChiefYale Women In Business
Honors and Awards Resume Examples
Accomplishment Examples For Resumes
Take a look at how to use achievements and accomplishments for seasoned job seekers. For applicants with experience, recruiters want to see measurable results. Now that you know where to place those, lets see how that translates into some examples.The below could go under a specific employer as part of your work history. That looks as follows:
- Maintained a customer satisfaction rating of 95% for the past two years, which led to a promotion.
- In 2019, averaged 35% for bringing in new accounts, beating the department average of 15%.
If you cannot quantify, you still have ways to demonstrate skills rather than just listing job duties. Samples include:
- Designed a new training program from scratch.
- Trained 25 staff members on a new CRM system.
Now, examine why those examples work:
- The first one shows the applicant had no help. This speaking to skills and the ability to perform the job.
- In the second example, the applicant quantified the number of people trained. However, in the second one, when taking a closer look, the candidate could take it a step further.
The more-quantified version becomes:Trained 25 staff members on a new CRM system, which resulted in the most well-received training program in the companys history follow-up surveys averaged a 98% satisfaction rate.A professional achievement or accomplishment applies to volunteer work too. Consider including volunteer work when a job is:
- Community based
Additionally, include volunteer positions when:
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