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Where Do You Put Certifications On A Resume

Listing Certifications On The Resume

Listing future certifications on your resume – should you and how to do it

Showing certifications on a resume is key to standing out in the running for a job vacancy which is why its so important to understand how to indicate resume certifications, memberships and licenses.

These are a few tips for including certifications on a resume but for more structured resume help, you could try using a resume template to ensure an HR-approved resume layout including resume boosting certifications.

If You Have Limited Practical Experience

You might have the skills you need to do a job well but not enough experience to qualify for an interview. In this case, listing a certification that verifies your relevant skillset and commitment to the industry may make up for what you lack in practical experience. Many employers are happy to hire employees who have already invested in their own professional development by pursuing certification.

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Listing Certifications On Your Resume In The Other Section

An additional information section is the perfect choice to avoid clutter on your resume. If you choose to include more than one or two certifications, list them on their own line alongside things like technical skills, awards, and language fluency.

Let’s run through a few examples.

Here’s an example of combining your certifications with other skill sets.

Here’s another simple example of listing a certification, which mentioning who awarded it. Use this only if your certification is not widely known and the context of your certification could help.

Listing the source of your certifications can help add legitimacy.

When to list a certifications in an additional section: If you have more relevant work experience to emphasize first or you’re running out of space on your resume.

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Why Are Certifications Necessary

  • Certifications are essential evidence of skills acquired, and knowledge gained.

  • They upgrade you with the latest technologies and recent theories.

  • They give you an added advantage over other candidates.

  • Certifications increase your bargaining power for a better salary.

  • Certification is a great economical alternative to expensive university education.

Some candidates have taken certifications but are confused about how to go about adding them to the resume. Don’t worry we are here.

List The Certifications Title

How to Correctly List Certifications on a Resume in 2020 (With Examples ...

Using a font and font size that you included previously in the resume, list the full title of the certification as a bullet under the heading Certifications. Be sure to type the name correctly and to spell out any abbreviations. If the potential employer or hiring manager is unfamiliar with the certification, they will need to be able to conduct an internet search using the full title.

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A Dedicated Section For Certifications

You can dedicate a section named licenses and certifications on your resume. If there are space limitations, using a one-word headline for the certification section on your resume will suffice.

Example of the certifications section:

  • Certified Clinical Research Coordinator | Association of Clinical Research Professionals2012/08
  • Licensed Practical Nurse | National Association of Practical Nurse Education and Service2010/05

To Show Industry Experience

Some certifications require a specific amount of experience, usually in terms of years of expertise. If you want to show your tenure within an industry, then listing your professional certifications is ideal. For example, to become a Chartered Professional Accountant , after receiving your bachelor’s degree, you must complete an additional one to two years of on-the-job training.

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To Demonstrate Industry Experience

Another good reason to feature your certifications on your resume is if they prove you have acquired years of experience in the industry. Many certifications are only awarded to individuals who have worked a certain number of years as a professional. Listing your certifications can be an efficient way to verify your experience level.

Should You Put Expired Certifications On Your Resume

12 Online Certifications to Boost Your Resume & Career | Indeed Career Tips

heres a reason they expire. There are some niches, in which you have to stay on top with innovations coming every day.

However, if you still want to write it in your resume, say that its expired. Dont lie to the Recruiters, they can easily catch you red-handed.

If youre in the process of retaking it, write retaking.

You may have finished the course before your first day on the position.

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In A Separate Certifications Section

If you have multiple certifications, you should consider listing them under a separate section. You may name this section Certifications,Certification and Training,Professional Development or something similar in order to attract the attention of the hiring manager. You may place this section just above or below the education section or at the bottom of your resume. Be sure to list your certifications in reverse-chronological order from most recent to earliest.

The Certification Is Credible

Ideally, the certificate is obtained by a credible institution that the employer would recognize. The more credible the certificate issuer, the more valuable the earned certificate.

Example of Credible certifications for a software engineering candidate

Incorrect â Certification in Algorithms & Data Structures by Random YouTube Channel”

Correct â Certification in Algorithms & Data Structures by Harvard University”

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In The Resume Summary Or Objective Statement

A career objective or resume summary highlights your skills and experience in two or three lines. It tells the hiring manager why you are suitable for the job and what value you can add to the organization. You can include your essential certifications as part of your resume summary or objective statement in order to highlight your eligibility or expertise for a given position.

  • Example 1: A Certified Public Account with over seven years of experience in corporate accounts and taxation, looking for a career transition to Bank Manager. Excellent team management and communication skills. Reduced non-performing assets by 12 percent while working as a Branch Manager for a leading NBFC.
  • Example 2: Highly efficient project management professional with over five years of experience in managing real estate projects. Strong leadership skills. Holds PMP certification.

Mistakes To Avoid When Listing Certifications On Your Resume

How to Correctly List Certifications on a Resume in 2020 (With Examples ...
  • Listing Old or expired certifications. Use these more of a talking point instead of taking precious resume space. For example, itâs better to mention that 4 year old Machine Learning certification to an employer in conversation. Always prioritize bullet points that you want to communicate in your resume.
  • Only using Certification Acronyms – Make sure you actually fully list out the certification name at least once before abbreviating. This greatly improves your chances of passing an ATS scan.
  • Including irrelevant certificates.

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It’s A Very Short Course

Unless theyre essential or deeply relevant, Coursera or similar courses that only take a few hours or days to complete arent usually significant enough to belong on your resume. The same goes for most short-form professional development courses, unless it’s deeply relevant to the job you’re applying for.

How To List Your Certifications On A Resume

Employers look for specific certifications when hiring to ensure candidates. This is to ensure they have the specialized knowledge and skills required to perform the duties of the job. Adding professional certifications to your resume can positively affect the impression your resume makes on recruiters and hiring managers. In this article, we discuss the definition and types of certifications, as well as identifying when and how to include them on your resume with specific examples for listing current and in-progress credentials to help you get noticed.

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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.


Always Mention The Certifying Authority

MicroNugget: How to Gain Certification and Improve Your Resume

This is valid because many candidates write training in the certifications section.

Certifications translate into a skill that can be applied in work.

Certifications get you a certificate.

But Training does not necessarily end with a certificate.

Training programs do not have to be from a proper authority.

At the time of your final hiring, they will ask for proof of certification. At this time, it would be crucial to submit all documents.

For example, if you take up an online training course in, say, metaphysics. This might not necessarily get you a certificate though it would enhance your knowledge in the same.

For this reason, it is essential and safe to name the section as Training & Certifications.

Mention all your training programs and certifications in this section.

Refer to the image below:-

Here, this candidate has taken various essential training programs and certifications. It is safe to put both of them in the section.

So even if you mention the training bit in Certifications, the safer way out is to name the section as Training & Certifications.

Hiration Protip: Mention ‘Certifications’ and not ‘Certification’. And while we’re at it, it’s ‘Training’ and not ‘Trainings.’

Such small things value a lot in your resume so try not to skip them.

On the way to building your resume, it makes sense to start searching for a job site for applying. Visit our guide on Best Job Search Sites.

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How To List An Expired Certification In The Experience Section

Because expired certifications may come off as a negative on a resume, you need to format it in a way that draws attention off of the expiration date.

Gaining that certification took knowledge and skill, so these things are what your resume should expand on not the specific certification itself.

It is best to restructure your resume to include the skills which you gained from becoming certified, rather than including the certificate with the word expired next to it.

Detail what you are now able to do, and the experiences that you had while utilizing those skills.

This can be done like the following when written in the experience section. In the case of an expired CPR certification:


Mountain Gymnasium Swimming Instructor

  • Independently watched over groups of up to 30 swimmers of all ages
  • Coached daily swimming classes for beginners to advanced students
  • Maintained and utilized the knowledge of proper CPR techniques as needed

Notice how the word expired is not once mentioned in the example. The employer now knows you have experience in CPR, and this expired certification has become an asset on your resume.

Keep in mind, however, you should never write anything that would make a company believe you still hold this certification.

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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In Your Summary Or Header

If you want to draw attention to a particularly prestigious qualification or one thats essential to your role, you can mention it in your resume summary. This isnt the case for most certifications, so first make sure that its actually a crucial job requirement and that its a well-known and easily recognizable acronym, like PMP or HIPAA.

If youre applying for project management positions, you can mention PMP certification in your resume summary.

If your certification is part of the job title you are applying to, you can consider including it directly in your header. Here’s an example of a Certified Nursing Assistant’s resume.

When to list a certifications in your resume summary: If you want to emphasize an essential and/or particularly well-known qualification .

In The Work Experience Section

Where To Put Licenses And Certifications On Resume

The work experience section lists your employment history along with associated job responsibilities for each of your previous jobs. If your certification represents your role or job title in the organization, the experience section can be the right place to list your certifications.

  • Example:
  • Atlanta General Hospital, Atlanta, GA
  • Certified Nursing Assistant, May 2018 Present
  • Conduct initial screening of patients in the casualty ward
  • Assist physicians in measuring heartbeats, pulse rates and other vitals of patients
  • Provided high-quality medical care to patients

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Create A Standalone Section

If youve got more than one or two certifications, list them in a dedicated section titled Certifications. You can combine them with other professional training or licenses, titling the section Certifications and Licenses or Training and Certifications. Listing your certifications in their own section helps draw attention to them and provides a cohesive aesthetic for the entire document.

Should You Put Certifications On Your Resume

It is a good idea to include a professional certification on your resume if :

Its relevant to the job to which you are applying

Its a real, recognized certification

You have actually earned and have proof that you did

In short, there are many types of certifications that belong on resumes and can give you a boost in your job search.

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What Types Of Certifications Should Be Included On A Resume

The first and most important step is to thoroughly read the job description. If you haven’t looked at any job listings yet, search for jobs in your industry to find some. Letâs go over the various types of certifications you may find in the job description before figuring out where to put them on your resume.

How To Find Relevant Resume Certifications For Your Candidacy

Certificates and Certifications on Your Resume

This absolute guide would be a bookmark-worth article as this contains relevant certifications for many professions.

Before starting working on any certification course, create a list of at least 5 prestigious certifications and professional licenses that would amaze the hiring managers it would depend on your career objectives and the jobs youre planning to apply for.

In addition, you can check with your local professional bodies for relevant certifications and licenses for your profession along with the procedure to acquire them. They would provide you with information about the online certification programs, new certification courses, and Continuing Professional Development Certifications for the earlier acquired certifications.

Another great source would be what the recruiter is looking for they would mention the mandatory licenses and certifications required for you to perform the job and the certifications that would put you at an advantage. The same information would be available in the relevant job description.

Make a list of them and try to acquire a couple of important certifications before applying for jobs. You can put it in your resume as soon as you do the official registration. If the certification program is not completed, mention it as In progress.

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Should Online Courses Be Included On A Resume

Have you acquired certifications through completing an online course? Even if theyâre optional, these certifications can be a great addition to your resume. Even if theyâre not listed in the job description.

Remember, the point of certificates on your resume is to prove to employers that youâre a qualified candidate. Therefore, certificates from online courses should only be included on your resume if they meet the following criteria:

Where To Put Your Certifications On A Resume

In order for your resume to sufficiently highlight your skills and qualifications, place your certifications in an easy to locate and clearly defined area. Some areas on your resume where you might consider placing this valuable information are:

  • Often certification initials and abbreviations can go directly with your name within the contact information located on top of the page. This helps ensure your qualifications are quickly noticed and easily associated with the position you seek.
  • In the prior work experience section: The job experience section can include both your practical experience and your certifications showing both your hard and soft skills for the position.
  • Within a designated certification section: It is typically a good idea to place a certification section near the top of your resume, particularly if you have a good amount of certifications and less work experience due to a career change or being new to the field.
  • In the resume summary: Some recruiters go directly to a resume summary to find the main points or qualifications of an applicant. Including your core certifications within this section can help you land an interview.

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