Summary
  • Mention only relevant certifications that add value to your current/target profile.
  • List your certifications in a separate section on your resume.
  • Provide the details of the certifying authority, date, and location (if any).
  • Follow the reverse chronological order to list your certifications.
  • Mention the expiry date in case your certification has one.
Update your certification Resume NOW!

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 for writing resume certifications. And we will teach you everything about how to put certification on your resume.

Here are the things we will learn in this blog :

We will share the winning formula with you for writing the certification section on your resume in this post. By the end of this post, your resume will have a certifications section that will outshine the competition.

Both landed jobs through campus placement. With their GPA, who wouldn't hire them?
They excelled 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 came from stellar companies and were 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!

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

Does this sound exciting? If it does, there's a lot more in store.

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.

When Should You Add Certifications on Resume?

James is a Marketing Manager with ten years of 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 pretty sorted.

Now let us evaluate your certifications.

Your certifications list is:

  • A course in Sanskrit Language (completed halfway)
  • 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 three certifications can be added or avoided depends upon the space constraint in the resume.

The rest of the three skills might showcase your learning stint but would not add much value while the resume is getting shortlisted for an interview.

At the same time, in the 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 essential skill of Leadership. This significantly impacts the recruiter as leadership is the trait recruiters look for.

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

  • Add Certification list when it translates to a skill essential 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

How to Put Certification on Resume

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

Things to keep in mind while adding the 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 the key areas of the resume

Below are the important information that you need to add in your certification:

  • Certification name,
  • Certification body
  • Obtainment date
  • Location if applicable
  • Expiry date
  • If you are in process of obtaining the certification

How to List Certification on Resume Summary

Apart from a separate certification section, you can add your most important certification in the summary section.

Example:

UpGrad Certified Digital Marketing professional possessing 5+ years of experience........

How to List Certification on Resume Header

You can also add your certification as part of your resume Header like this:

"John Doe, CPA"

How to List Certification on Resume Education Section

You can also list the certifications on the education sections.

  • You can only do this if you only have one certification.
  • You have done the certification on your university
  • You don't want to focus on that certification over your other educations

Certifications Section Has to Be Separate

Some candidates find it comfortable to add up certifications in any section of the resume.

But, mixing the certifications with other skills or awards sections will not impact 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.

How to add certification in resume sample: 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.

Always Mention the Certifying Authority

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:-

certification-and-training

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.

Always mention the certifying authority

There are zillions of certifications happening around the world.

But certain authorities 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 vs. doing it from some random institute.

Again, the certification becomes essential if it’s current and the certification date is mentioned alongside.

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

But if you mention both the certifications without saying the date, they 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 the date of each certification along with the certifying authority.

Follow a Reverse Chronological Order

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

This makes it easy for the recruiter to scan the resume for the latest certifications and quickly decide.

Let us see this image:

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

Highlighting Key Points

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

It significantly impacts the recruiter's mind as bolded information registers quickly.

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

certifications-without-bolding

Certifications Lists for Different Profiles

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

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

BLS Certification on Resume

The Americal Red Cross offers a Basic Life Support or BLS certification to the candidates. This certification teaches candidates the technics of basic life-saving measures.

This certification addresses that you are a responsible citizen and willing to help people.

Here is a BLS certification on resume example:

Certification
BLS Certification
Americal Red Cross, April 2020- February 2022

FEMA Certification on Resume

The Federal Emergency Management Certificate or FEMA is another necessary certificate, best for candidates who are interested in emergency management. There are a series of courses and certifications. Some have an expiry date, and some don't.

When you add FEMA certification to your resume, make sure to add Emergency Management Institute(EMI) as the accrediting body.

Here's a FEMA Certification on resume example:

Certification
Professional Development Series,
Emergency Management Institute, September 2020

CPR Certification on Resume

CPR certified on resume is not only for medical professionals. It's also an essential certification for teachers. Here's how to put CPR certification on resume:

Certification
CPR Certified,
Americal Red Cross, April 2018 - February 2020

However, don’t add the information if you are applying for a job that doesn’t require it, for instance, Account management. Since it’s not relevant, you are better of without that certification on your resume.

Note: The CPR certification is only valid for two years. And make sure your certification is valid before putting it on the resume.

Certifications to Put on Resume: 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 to Put on Resume: 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, 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 raise 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 five 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 Put Certification on Resume?

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

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.

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

But it is to play it correctly to make the maximum 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 the ISO of products and services.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When should I not list my certifications on resume?

Ans. You can skip adding certification on resume if the certification is not relevant to the job you are applying for.

Q. What other sections can you list on resume?

Ans. There are a lot of sections which you can add in your resume. Such as,

  • Awards & Honors
  • Accomplishments
  • Volunteer Experience
  • Extra-curricular Experience
  • Hobbies & Interests
  • Training & Conferences

Key Takeaways

Now that we have all the knowledge about how to write certification on a resume, here are the key takeaways:

  • Add certifications that give you a skill relevant to your recruiter
  • Add certifications in a separate section in the resume
  • Certifications are not really training. And, they are different from technical skills as well.

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