In a competitive job market, it is important to make sure your resume stands out. Many candidates have similar-looking resumes so it’s vital to give yourself every advantage possible. Highlighting honors and awards on your resume can be an effective way of achieving this.
What’s the difference between honors and awards? For the sake of writing a resume, the two words are interchangeable. Resumes often include an ‘honors and awards‘ section with a list incorporating both.
However, there is a small difference between honors and awards in terms of definition. An honor is when someone is officially recognized and respected for their accomplishments. An award is a prize someone receives for something special they have achieved. The definitions are very similar and often something can be both an honor and an award.
In terms of resume writing, there is no difference between honors and awards as they are included in the same section. It is not always necessary to include them and it is not the most impòrtant part of your resume. Both your work experience and your skills section should be more prominent.
Which honors and awards to put on a resume?
You should only include an honors and awards section if you have three or more items to include. Where should awards and honors go on a resume? If you have one or two you can include them in your professional experience section, or in your education section if they’re academic awards.
Remember that your resume should be concise. It should only be a page long which means you need to be selective about what you include. It may be the case that your experience and qualifications highlight why you a better suited for a position than your honors and awards. If this is the case exclude them. Don’t waste valuable space.
Honors and awards examples to include
When should you include honors and awards on your resume? If you are a recent graduate and have received academic distinctions or achieved outstanding exam results, including them can be a way of making your resume stand out over hundreds of identical resumes
You should also add honors and awards which clearly demonstrate why you are the right person for the job. For example, if you are a hairdresser and received a ‘Best Young Hairdresser Award‘, it will clearly help.
You have to think whether a professional award is relevant. The same hairdressing award is unlikely to help someone applying for a job in a bank. However, if you are able to write a list of three or four honors and awards it will show that you’re an adaptable, achiever who possesses a range of skills.
Using honors and awards to demonstrate different types of skills
You should include honors and awards which highlight that you have the required technical hard skills for a job. These are easy to identify. However, you should also think about the soft skills which honors and awards highlight. Soft skills are abilities which are related to your personalities such as communication skills and social skills.
It can be difficult to demonstrate soft skills on a resume but honors and awards can be a good way. Winning an award for giving a presentation at college shows that you have a range of different types of communication skills and it is much more convincing than simply stating that you’re a good public speaker or have good communication skills.
Similarly, if you have won any sporting awards for team sports, it demonstrates that you have strong teamwork skills. It can also show that you’re determined, and even have leadership skills.
Tailor your resume to include honors and awards
You need to tailor your resume to each position in order to meet the individual specifications and requirements of each position. Using a resume builder is a time-effective way of achieving this.
Read these tips for building your honors and awards section for more information.