Don’t Add Dean’s List If You Have A Long Successful Career
If you have a long, successful career then you should skip adding Dean’s List or your GPA to your resume.
That’s because your professional experience is more important than those little college accomplishments.
Sure, if you just graduated and are looking for your first or second job, it makes sense to add Dean’s List but otherwise skip it. The exception is if you went to a hard college.
Best Practices For Your Resume Awards Section
In addition to knowing what awards to include on your resume, it’s important to follow these best practices when listing your accomplishments:
Be professional. Make sure the tone you use remains professional. For example, rather than saying “Got First Place in writing,” say, “Achieved First Place Writing Award in 2017 from the Centennial Group for excellence in news writing and reporting.”
Avoid irrelevant awards. It’s important to include only the awards and honors you’ve received that can help your application stand out. For example, your mathematics award won’t be useful to include if you’re applying for a news writing position.
Be specific. As you write your resume, and your awards section in particular, it’s important that you remain as specific and descriptive as possible. Doing so will help hiring managers understand your abilities and achievements.
Be consistent. Make sure your awards section is formatted consistently throughout each honor you have listed. For example, make every award the same font, color and font size. In the same regard, make sure you format your awards section to look like the other sections on your resume.
Include fairly recent awards. The awards you include should be within a reasonable time period that does predate your listed employment and education history.
In A Dedicated Awards Section:
Colorado Volunteer of the Year 2020, Food Bank of the Rockies, Denver, CO
- Awarded to one volunteer each year among 200+ volunteers at Colorado locations of Food Bank of the Rockies.
- Volunteered 5 days a week throughout March and April during the COVID-19 pandemic, organizing inventory and distributing food to families in need.
- Designed, wrote, and printed 3500 Help Cards directing people to financial, employment, and housing resources available during the pandemic and distributed them with food packages.
Regina Borsellino is a NYC-based editor at The Muse covering job search and career advice, particularly resume best practices, interviewing, remote work, and personal and professional development. Before joining The Muse, Regina was an editor for InvestorPlace, where she also wrote about topics such as investing and biotech companies. She holds a BA in English language and literature from the University of Maryland and an MFA in creative writing from American University. Find her on and .
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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.
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Creating A Separate Section For Awards And Honors
Finally, you should work to highlight these career achievements in a separate awards section. This will enable you to make sure that these high-points are seen by the hiring manager. This also provides an opportunity for you to develop some consistency in how the information is presented. For each of these achievements, include:
The type of award, honor, or achievement â and when you received it
What it recognizes
Why it was important, and what you did to achieve it
Whether it was a school, city, regional, or national award or honor
For example, suppose that you were honored for your work as a student journalist on campus:
2017 Student Journalist of the Year
Given in recognition of outstanding contribution to the world of student journalism and awarded for my series of stories on the increased student dropout rate at ABC University. The award offered national recognition from a coalition of newspaper and broadcast media.
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How To Include Awards On A Resume
Just like you should have a section of your resume for your skills, education, and work experience, you can include a section for your awards. Its up to you to decide how much detail you want to go into about what you list. For example, there are some awards that most people will recognize and will understand the importance of, like if you participated in a Fulbright Scholar Program.
Some other awards or certifications might require a bit of explanation. Think about specific awards from school clubs you were involved in or awards from your company that people outside of your organization might not know of. These types of awards and certifications should be explained a bit if you list them.
Another way to include awards is to add them in the relevant existing sections of your resume. If you want to talk about an accomplishment from college, you can add the award or certificate to your resumes education section. You might need to give some explanation if theres room and show how it applies to the job youre applying for.
If you want to explain the award, its a good idea to include the scope and how the award recipients were determined. Indicating the scope of the award will let anyone who reads your resume know if you were chosen from a national, regional, state, or local pool.
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
Dean’s list or honor roll
School leadership positions
Professional association awards
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What Details Should You Include For Each Award
As you create the awards section of your resume, it’s important that you include the following details for each listed accomplishment:
The date of your award or honor: This will let potential employers know how long it’s been since you’ve displayed these skills or for how long you’ve been skilled in this particular achievement.
The purpose and significance of your award: For example, you can say, “First Place Award for Best Arts and Entertainment Feature in 2018 by the Washington Collegiate Press.” This lets hiring managers know what you received the award for.
The scope of the award: It’s important to mention whether or not this award is regional, national or international.
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High School Awards And College Awards
With the risk of repeating ourselves, yes, you should include them, but only if it makes sense to do so. If youre applying for an internship or your first job, your high school and college awards are probably the only ones you have.
In a resume, you should show yourself in the best possible light for your dream position. So if you have no work experience or internships, try to fill your resume with relevant information from your high school and/or college years.
Still, try to keep it as relevant as possible theater background will not help much if youre applying for a tech job, unless you were the kid who did the lighting effects.
However, if youre a 20 something adult or a seasoned professional, listing high school achievements and college awards is a big no. This looks highly unprofessional, and there is a big chance your resume will get rejected right away.
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How Should You List Awards On Your Resume
Once you know which awards to add to your resume, you can decide where and how to list them. As you consider your options, think about how important the award is to selling yourself as a candidate for the job youre applying for. You always want to make sure the most important information on your resume is easy to spot and understand by someone quickly scanning your resume.
Professional Awards And Achievements
Professional awards from colleagues or management may include certifications, honors and other achievements for your job accomplishments. Including professional awards on your resume, relevant to the job you are applying for, is important when you have sufficient work experience and your academic achievements are not as significant. Examples include notably increasing sales or surpassing lofty career goals.
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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.
Should You Include A Cali Award On A Resume
A CALI Award should be included on a resume only for those who are still in school, or who have recently graduated. Working professionals may include it for a few years after graduation if the class is very relevant to the job they seek, but it is unusual to list it after acquiring work experience.
Fresh graduates need to format their resumes in a very particular way because they often lack professional experience in the working world.
Because of this, there is often a lot of space to be filled on a resume.
Academic achievements are a good way for recent graduates to fill out their resumes and help themselves stand out amongst their peers.
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For How Long Should You List A Cali Award On A Resume
CALI Awards should only be listed on a resume until one has gained a few years of working experience in the legal field.
Much like how SAT scores expire after three years, scholarly awards also have unspoken and unofficial expiration dates.
The legal field is a constantly changing one, and thus information quickly becomes outdated.
Having aced a class years ago is less impressive as time goes on, as much of the information one may have studied may now be inaccurate.
Employers also tend to disregard academic achievements compared to professional experiences, because academic ones tend to be theoretical.
Writing essays about court cases is a much different experience than being in a courtroom for real, and employers prefer seeing the actual experience on a resume.
Tips For Writing Academic Achievements On A Resume
If you are not creating a CV, including academic achievements can still be useful, especially if your resume is lacking in other work-related accomplishments.
Here is an example of how someone applying to an IT position might frame a related academic achievement on their resume:
Incorrect: Created a new software for an app.
Correct: Created the software and digital infrastructure for an award-winning mobile app.
Take a look at this Full Stack developer example below to see how to demonstrate achievements.
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Where To List Awards On Your Resume
Employers often receive dozens to hundreds of applications for a single open position. Having awards and accomplishments on your resume is one of the ways that you can make your application stand out, but where and how do you list them? In this article, we examine the value of including awards and accomplishments on your resume, the common types of awards to include and how to include awards on your resume to impress potential employers .
Explain The Achievement’s Impact
For any accomplishments that had a particular impact, explain in detail what influence your actions had. For example, if you lead a fund-raising program and raised $250,000 for a local hospital, you would explain how that money was used to improve the lives and medical care of the patients.
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Why List Awards And Achievements On Your Resume
To make a long-lasting impression and stand out from the rest of the candidates. A lot of them forget to list accomplishments, both personal and professional.
So if you take the time to show the achievements youre proud of, youre already one step ahead. Listing your jobs will show what kind of work you did, but showcasing awards will prove how good you were at it.
For example, Derreck here put his key achievements in the very beginning of his engineering resume because he knows his recruiters will be impressed by numbers and examples.
Most jobs have the same requirements and responsibilities, so in a pile of candidates, the information on the resumes will be relatively the same.
However, accomplishments are individual and can only work to your benefit in this extremely competitive job market.
This works particularly well with freshly graduated candidates that still dont have a lot of fieldwork experience. So, scholarships and awards are perfect to show your dedication and exceptional talents.
With that being said, be careful not to make the awards section the focal point of your resume. You dont want to look like youre bragging.
There is a subtle difference, and we will help you find it, so read on!
Tip – Employers often cross-reference awards, so dont even think about lying on your resume about things youve done!
Types Of Awards To Include On Resume
You can include any type of award on your resume as long as its relevant to your profession, industry, skillset, or the job youre applying for. Common awards and certificates included on resumes fall under the large categories of academic, professional, industry-related, and personal.
Here are a few types of accolades you can include on your resume.
Deans list awards
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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.
Where To List Your Special Recognitions
The appropriate place to list your awards and honors depends on where you are in your career. For example, if you are a student or you graduated a short while ago, you probably dont have as much experience in your desired career field. Thus, it may be worth it to create a separate honors and awards section, as you will have a sufficient amount of space on your resume to do so. If the honors and awards were awarded during your academic experience, you can include them in your education section. On the other hand, if you have several years of work experience, you dont have enough room on your paper resume to create a separate section just for your special recognitions. In this case, seasoned professionals can list honors and awards within the specific work experience where it was earned. In addition, it is always a recommended to mention your most significant recognitions in your executive summary. Remember in either case, if you do not have enough room on your PDF resume to write about your honors and awards in great detail , you can always add more detailed explanations on your online resume.
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How To List Awards And Qualifications On Your Resume
One of the best ways to highlight your accomplishments on a resume is to list them. But how do you list awards and qualifications on your resume?
Luckily, there are standard ways to list achievements relevant to your job hunt. Keep reading to learn more about how to list awards and other relevant qualifying factors.
List Them Where You Received Them
If you got an award in college or received employee of the month at one of your jobs, you want to be sure to list them under their respective areas.
For instance, say you worked at Joes Electronic Shop. When it comes time to write your job role and responsibilities, leave a bullet point at the end to highlight that you were Salesman of the Month in July of 2020, it might also be helpful to list what substantial accomplishments helped you get the award.
Additionally, if you got your award at school, youll want to list it under your education section with the corresponding school.
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