How to Put Certifications on a Resume

Nov 10 2020


A resume is a concise summary of skills, qualifications, and achievements. A good resume shows your academic and work history. Therefore, it should be properly written and presentable. The most vital part of a resume is the candidate’s credentials. Aside from building professional credibility and image, it also helps acquire an advantage in one’s chosen career.

Including important credentials in your resume increases your chances of getting employed as your recruiter sees how eligible you are for the job. The challenge of where, how, and what certifications to include arises. As a result, we would be discussing how to add certifications to resume, and other things you need to know in this comprehensive article.

how to include certifications in resume

How to Include Certification

Sometimes, certification is done by education, audit, or assessment. It formally confirms the eligibility of a prospect for a position. Also, adding extra qualifications is a way of showing the hiring manager your passion for the position you are applying for. The recruiter has a few minutes or sometimes seconds to scan a pile of resumes. It is your duty to catch his/her attention during the few moments spent reading yours. Since the recruiter is trying to get the best candidate for the job, knowing how to list your achievements is vital. Below are what you need to do to simplify your task.

  • Evaluate your Credentials

This should be made before adding to resume. Insignificant licenses should not be added. Easy certifications to add to your resume might include details of skills acquired by engaging in professional, vocational, or technical courses. You should add skills and abilities that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Avoid unnecessary details.

  • Add Relevant Credentials

There are some certifications that look good on a resume. The applicant must be able to know the section where he can discuss the details of awards, training programs, and certificates. Details about winning an award in soccer while applying for a nursing job will be useless and doesn’t have to be added. There should also be a different section for hobbies and talents.

  • Include Your Credentials Where It Can be Easily Noticed

The question of where to include your credentials and licenses is one that stands out. There is the option of putting them in the section of your work experiences or even your educational degrees. Your credentials must be relevant to the job you are applying for. One of the most important things is that it should be put where it can be easily seen.

How To List Certification On Resume

Resume certification that is sometimes taken for granted is actually relevant to the employer. Getting certified could involve completing an institutional course. Most times, you need to add your licenses. Resume writing certification takes different forms. This is because industries and organizations have diverse requirements to attain certification.

Familiarity with how to include your credentials will help in constructing a standard resume that will be favorable to the individual. To do this efficiently, all you need to do is to follow the steps below.

  • Draw attention to important details with the use of highlights. This gives the resume a professional look, at the same time, make details easy to scan.
  • Acronyms should be written out in full at least once, most importantly, at first usage. Your resume must be readable and comprehensive. It must not mislead or confuse the recruiter.
  • List your certifications in reverse chronological order and not randomly. That way, the certificates you acquired most recently are seen first. If you’re awaiting results on a degree you intend to add, you can indicate by writing ‘pending’.

The structure below is an acceptable format on how to list certifications on resume:

  • Name of certification or license
  • Name of the certifying body and location
  • Dates obtained and expiration (if applicable)

Note that it is unacceptable to use expired certifications. Expired or old certificates and licenses should be reviewed and renewed before submission. Your certificates should be rightly dated and to include certifications in resume

Where To Put Your Certifications

While writing your resume, it is important to put your credentials where they can be seen. However, below are the places where you can integrate it into your resume.

  • In the objective statement or summary of the resume

Stating the objective of your career and skills brings attention to your mindset and experience. The recruiter can easily tell if you’re good or bad for the job and what value you can add to the company. Adding your resume credentials to this section is fine. In fact, it can be a part of the summary.

  • In the section of work experience

This section lists your employment and working history. The section also lists duties given to you in your previous places of work. You can list your credentials in this section.

  • In the section of education

Certifications, achievements, licenses, and qualifications will naturally fit in this section. However, you can’t simply name the section ‘education’. You should modify it in such a way that the hiring manager is aware of your certifications as well as your educational background. ‘Education and Certifications’ is a heading you can use.

  • In a separate section

If the above sections do not appeal to you, you can create a resume certification section where your certifications are added for easy access. If you’re one with a lot of credentials, it is advisable to list them separately. This prevents them from being cumbersome for the hiring manager. This section might be below or above your work experience and can be named ‘Certifications’.

What Types Of Credential Should You List On Your Resume?

By now, you must have known that your resume must contain details about your work experience and education. It could contain certifications that are professional, academical, vocational, and so on. Below are the types of licenses you can add to beautify and make your resume presentable.

  • Notable Credentials

These are the certifications you acquired by completing different training programs and online courses. Listing the ones that have unrecognized certifying authority might be at your detriment. Ensure that the ones you listed are granted by recognized organizations.

  • Significant Credentials

Understand that training programs are not the same as certifications. Training programs might help to sharpen your knowledge professionally, technically, vocationally. On the other hand, certification is a list of relevant skills you acquired that can boost your chance of being employed. Therefore, adding the ones that befits resume is important.


A resume with credentials is more likely to be considered than a resume with none. Adding relevant credentials and licenses gives you an additional advantage. This is because they show your acquired qualifications and capabilities. As a result, you must try as much as possible, not to include irrelevant skills while composing your job-winning resume.