We agree that writing certifications on your resume can be very tricky.

There's a certifying authority, the certification itself, the date of completion and other details! But there is only so much space in your resume.

After experimenting for over 5 years with clients from different industries, our professional resume writers have created the winning formula to writing certifications on a resume.

View the 2019 Guide on: How to Write a Resume

In this post, we're going to share the winning formula with you for writing the certification section on your resume. By the end of this post, your resume will have a certifications section that will outshine the competition.

For now, consider this scenario:

John and Robert cleared their Bachelors in Engineering with flying colors.

Both landed jobs through campus placement. With their GPA, who wouldn't hire them?
They were excelling in their respective companies and were having the time of their lives.

But as luck would have it, they both realized they needed a change. Why spend the prime years of their lives stuck in a single company? They had to explore!

Now, it was time to one-up their game. The time to start climbing the fabled corporate ladder.

Surprisingly, both of them knew that the journey of the corporate ladder would invariably begin with the humble resume. So both of them got into the science of resume making and started applying for jobs through different portals and sites.

While John landed quite a few interview calls, Robert was still waiting.

They had the same profile, they both were coming from stellar companies, and were the alumni of the same engineering college.

They were applying through the same medium and in fact, they had made similar resumes too.

Then what was the difference?

The difference was the additional section of a list of certifications in John's Resume.

It became clear what was missing!

In the cut-throat competitive world, if you are doing anything extra to upgrade your skills and knowledge, it counts!

Why are certifications important?

  • Certifications are an important evidence of skills acquired and knowledge gained.

  • They upgrade you with 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.

There are candidates who have taken certifications but are confused around how to go about adding them in the resume. Don't worry we are here.

Certifications list on a resume - What & How?

This article will throw light on:-

  • When to add certifications list?
  • The best way of adding certifications to your resume
  • List of Certifications
  • Where to place Certifications in a Resume
  • Accredited Certifications

While rolling down, it is a good way to kickstart the creation of your resume with our resume builder to save time and invest it in grabbing more certifications!

When to add a certifications list?

James is a Marketing Manager with 10 years experience, working with a top-notch brand and delivering your best to the company.

Additionally, he is an MBA graduate from a decent B-school.

Your work experience and education sections look quite sorted.

Now let us evaluate your certifications

Your certifications list is:

  • A course in Sanskrit Language (completed half way)
  • Bakery certification from Texas
  • Certificate in Yoga and Meditation from Yoga Art Center
  • Digital Marketing certification

It makes sense to add only those certifications list to your resume which adds VALUE to your current portfolio!

For a Marketing Manager, Digital Marketing Certification goes a long way in letting the recruiter know the additional skill in the same domain.

The skill of digital marketing shall enhance the marketing career of this candidate.
But rest of the certifications do not necessarily add value to a Marketing Resume.

So whether the rest of the 3 certifications can be added or avoided depends upon the space constraint in the resume.

Needless to say, the rest of the 3 skills might showcase your learning stint but would not add much value while the resume is getting shortlisted for interview.

At the same time, in case of freshers, all the certifications matter a lot.

Because freshers are still deciding their path and any new certification will add value to the resume.

For example, a fresher might have done an online certification in Leadership Training.

This work showcases an important skill of Leadership. Definitely, this makes a huge impact on the recruiter as leadership is 1 trait which recruiters look for.

Also, the baking certificate would showcase the skill of initiative and a team player.

To make it a bit easy for you, these are the 3 criteria you can keep in mind while deciding your certifications list in the resume:

  • Add Certification list when it translates to a skill important for your next recruiter
  • Value Enhancement in current role for working professionals as it increases the chances of getting shortlisting
  • Value Enhancement of soft skills, in case of freshers and graduates

Adding certifications to your resume

Certifications for their immense value addition to a professional's journey shall be added as a separate section in the resume.

Things have to be kept in mind while adding certifications section in a resume:-

  • Add it separately to catch the recruiter's eye
  • Do not confuse it with training programs
  • Always mention the certifying authority, date and location
  • Reverse chronological order
  • Highlighting

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.

no-separate-section-for-certifications-on-a-resume-2

The second image is:-

certification-separate-section

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.

Do not confuse training and certifications

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

Certifications translate into a skill which 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 important and safe to name the section as Training & Certifications.

Mention all your training programs and certifications in this section.

Refer to the image below:-

certification-and-training

Here, this candidate has taken various important 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 then 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 to not skip them.

On 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.

Always mention the certifying authority

There are zillions of certifications happening around the world.

But there are certain authorities which are renowned for a certification.

That is, these authorities will enhance the value of your resume.

It is exactly like doing a degree course from a reputed institute or doing it from some random institute.

Again, the certification becomes important if the date is mentioned alongside.

Of course, the certification pursued this year holds much more important than the one taken a few years ago.

But if you mention both the certifications without mentioning the date, then they both become irrelevant for the recruiter.

Certifying authority can be mentioned with the location and date using a separator.
Location can be added if absolutely necessary.

Referring to the same image above, you would see how we have used a separator to state date of each certification along with the certifying authority.

Follow a reverse chronological order

Certification should be listed in a reverse chronological order as given in the example above.

This makes it easy for the recruiter to scan the resume for latest certifications and quickly make a decision.

Let us see this image:

incorrect-order-of-certifications-on-a-resume

As a recruiter would be easily able to scan the latest certifications.

It would rather take you lot of time to find certifications taken up in 2018.

That is why correct ordering matters.

Highlighting

Again, bolding of the important words in the certification comes across as professional and more readable.

It makes a huge impact on the recruiter's mind as bolded information registers easily.

Let us look at this example without any bolding done:-

certifications-without-bolding

Certifications List

Not all certifications are worth your time. While many others reinforce your skill set and multiply your chances of landing the interview.

Let's walk through easy certifications list to include in your resume.

Certifications List for Marketing Resume

  • Certifications to get in the marketing world are:-
  • Hubspot Email marketing certification
  • AMA's digital marketing certification
  • Bing Ads accredited professional certification
  • Pragmatic Marketing certification
  • Digital Marketing certifications
  • Google Adwords Certifications
  • Google Analytics Individual Qualification
  • HubSpot Inbound Certification

Certifications List for IT Resume

IT professionals can command a better salary by getting trained and certified in systems, networking, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.

If you are in technical sales in IT then certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, Apple, and VMware would make sense.

Below are some of the certifications to get into the IT world which would help you rise up the ladder.

  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

Resume certificates for the following job profiles:

  • Systems Engineer
  • Systems Manager
  • IT Manager
  • Systems Administrator
  • Field Systems Technician

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

Resume certificates for the following job profiles:

  • Information Technology Auditor
  • Security Analyst
  • Systems Auditor

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Resume certificates for the following job profiles:

  • Information Technology Auditor
  • Security analyst
  • Information security analyst

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

Resume certificates for the following job profiles:

  • Cloud Architect
  • Cloud Manager
  • Cloud Administrator

Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

Certifications List for Business Analyst Resume

IIBA happens to be a global BA certifying body.

These are some globally recognized list of certifications to get which will take you ahead in the analytical industry:

  • IIBA Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA)
  • IREB Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE)
  • PMI-Professional in Business Analysis (PBA) Certification
  • CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional) for professionals over 5 years experience in the industry
  • Entry Certificate in Business Analysis is best for freshers

Certifications List for Operations Resume

If you are an Operations maverick, it would surely make sense to take note of the certifications to get in the Operations domain:

  • Six Sigma Certification
  • Certification in International Supply Chain Professional (CISCP)
  • Certification in International Transportation and Logistics (CITL)
  • Certification in Warehousing
  • Certification in Strategic Operations

Certifications List for HR Resume

These are the Certifications to get into the HR industry:

  • Certification in PHR®: Professional in Human Resources
  • Certification in SPHR®: Senior Professional in Human Resources
  • Certification in SHRM-CP: SHRM Certified Professional
  • Certification in SPHRi®: Senior Professional in Human Resources — International
  • Certification in PRHi®: Professional in Human Resources — International
  • Certification in GPHR®: Global Professional in Human Resources

Google Certifications List for a Developer

These are the Certifications you need to get the target developer job:

  • Associate Android Developer
  • Google Developers Certification
  • Mobile Web Specialist
  • Google Cloud Certified - Professional Data Engineer
  • Google Cloud Certified - Associate Cloud Engineer

Where to place Certifications in a Resume?

This question holds a lot of importance for the fact that recruiter gives just 6 seconds to the resume.

Thought the certifications section could be placed in a resume just after the Education section to make more sense as certification is part of education.

But, to play it smartly you can add up a certification in your career summary to highlight it in the best possible way.

Let us look at this summary:-

placement-of-certifications-on-a-resume

In this example, this operations manager has very smartly highlighted the six sigma certification in the resume summary.

This is not to say that this certification will not go in the certification list on the resume.

But it is to play it correctly so as to make the major impact on the recruiter.

Accredited Certifications

Certifications surely help potential employers know your worth.

But these days there are millions of institutions and education bodies offering millions of certificates.

In this huge gamut of certifications, recruiters place importance on only those certifications which are accredited.

Accredited certifications are backed by standard and reputed authorities.

These authorities are like ISO of products and services.

You can get a fair idea of accredited online certifications on this link.

Key Takeaways

Add certifications which gives you a skill relevant to your recruiter

Add certifications in a separate section in the resume

Certifications are not really training Certifications are surely different from technical skills

For any doubts and queries, Please comment below. We would be more than happy to help.