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.

Even if the certification is not job-related, it can benefit your candidacy and help draw attention to your resume.

Also Read: How to write a resume in 2022?

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 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, 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 on your certification in a resume:

  • Add certification details when it translates to a skill essential for your next recruiter
  • Value enhancement in the current role for working professionals as it increases the chances of getting shortlisted
  • Value enhancement of soft skills, in case of freshers and graduates

Also Read: What is the perfect resume format to achieve maximum impact?

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 is the important information that you need to add to your certification:

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

How to List Job-Critical Certifications on Resumes


If the certification is critical for getting into the job, you need to be aggressive while adding the certification to your resume.

Put the certification in these 4 places:

  • On the resume Header at the side of your name
  • In the resume summary
  • In a separate Certification Section
  • If needed, in the work experience section

How to Put “Extra” Certifications on Resumes When


If the certification is not relevant but can add value, then they are “extra” certifications.

Put these certifications lower down in the resume. in the “Additional Information” section.

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:

Example:
“John Doe, CPA.”

How to List Certification in Resume Education Section


You can also list the certifications in the education sections.

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

Example:

Bachelor of Nursing,
Rasmussen University, Altamonte Springs, FL
GPA: 3.4/5.0

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) | American Red Cross | Jul 2024

1. Certifications Section Has to Be Separate


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.

2. Certification on Resume vs. Training On Resume


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

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 “Training & Certifications” if you are adding both to the resume.

Mention all your training programs and certifications in this section.

Refer to the image below:-

certification-and-training

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

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.

3. Always Mention the Certifying Authority


There are zillions of certifications happening around the world.

But a certification from a renowned organization holds more value.

Along with it, the certification date is also important.

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 saying the date, they become irrelevant to the recruiter.

Certifying authority can be mentioned with the location and date using a separator.

certification-and-training

4. Follow a Reverse Chronological Order


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

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

Also Read: How to write a reverse chronological resume in 2022?

Mistakes to Avoid When Adding Certifications on Resume


1. Adding Expired Certificate


Don’t add an expired certification on your resume, and it takes away valuable space.

2. Don’t Use Certificate Acronyms


Always add the full name of your certificate at least once before abbreviating. It improves your chances of passing the ATS system.

3. Including irrelevant certificates


Do not include an irrelevant certificate in the resume. It does not help you in getting the job.

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

Also Read: How to write a nursing resume in 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

Also Read: How to write a management consultant resume?

CPR Certification on Resume


CPR certification in a resume is not only for medical professionals. It’s also an essential certification for teachers.

Here is how to put CPR certification on your 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 off 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 your resume.

Certifications to Put on Resume: Google Certifications


Also Read: How to write an IT resume?

Certifications to Put on Resume: Marketing Resume


Certifications to get into 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

Also Read: How to write a marketing resume in 2022?

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 climb the career 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)

Also Read: How to write a system analyst resume in 2022?

Certifications List for Business Analyst Resume


IIBA happens to be a global BA certifying body.

These are some globally recognized lists 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 with over five years of 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

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 on 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.

FAQs Around Certifications on Resume


Q. When Should I Not List My Certifications on Resume?


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

Q. What Other sections Can You List on Your Resume?


There are a lot of sections that you can add to your resume. Such as:

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

Q. Should You List Online Course Certifications on Resume?


Absolutely! If the online course is relevant for the job you’re applying for, then you should include it in your resume.

Online courses can help you get noticed, especially if you are a fresher.

However, make sure to keep the certification list conscious and write it in a separate section.

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 training. And, they are different from technical skills as well.

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