In a competitive job market it is important to make your resume stand out. Employers often receive hundreds of applications for a single job opening and many look the same. Listing awards on a resume can be a way of making your resume shine.
However, your resume should be as concise as possible which means that space is precious. The awards section of your resume is not the most important part. Your experience, skills, and education should take priority.
It is no good to simply write a long list of your accomplishments and personal achievements. Only include awards on your resume if they highlight a skill, attribute, or ability which the employer is looking for.
You should tailor your resume for each job application and you may realize that you have an award which clearly demonstrates that you have one of the key job requirements. If so, add it using a resume builder. Here are three types of awards to include on a resume which are often impressive to employers.
High School Awards and College Awards
Including academic awards on your resume is particularly effective if you are writing a student resume or an entry-level resume. It is a way of showing your academic ability and giving you an edge over countless other candidates with similar resumes.
If you were awarded a scholarship, won an academic prize such as a science fair, or a piece of your work won a prestigious prize, it is impressive and it clearly demonstrates your strengths. However, the further you get in your career the less relevant these achievements will become.
Adding academic achievements is an important part of how to write a high school resume but you should only include them until you have enough professional work experience.
You can include high school and college awards in the education section of your resume. Or if you have three or more academic awards you can create a separate section.
Awards which demonstrate valuable soft skills
Each job has a specific set of requirements. Employers normally look for a range of hard skills, which you can demonstrate by listing your work experience and qualifications. However, soft skills are harder to show.
Many candidates simply say they have leadership, organizational, or communication skills. However, this is unconvincing. It is much better to give a solid example of when you have shown a skill, such as receiving an award.
Sports achievements on a resume
Listing athletics awards on a resume and other sporting achievements clearly demonstrate that you have a range of strengths. Depending on the award, it can show you are a team-player, determined, have communication skills, or even leadership skills.
You can include the award under your education section (if it was during your school or college years). You can include them under an awards section if you have three or more things to add.
Military awards on a resume
Similarly, if you have served in the army and have military awards this is also very impressive and it can demonstrate that you have a range highly-valuable soft skills including discipline, organization, communication skills, leadership, planning, decision-making, and the ability to perform under pressure.
You can include a military award on your resume under your professional experience section. Or if you have many you could create a separate awards section.
Professional awards on a resume
Professional awards act as a useful reference for your ability. It shows that you have recognition from your peers, clients, colleagues, or customers. Professional recognition can be important so add appropriate professional certifications, honors, and awards.
If you have sufficient work experience, your academic awards are no longer as relevant. It is better to focus on your career achievements if you are writing a professional resume. However, remember that space is precious so don’t add awards on resume samples which are not relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Employers will not hire you just based on an award but if it is related to the job you’re applying for and you also have relevant experience and qualifications, it could make the difference between your resume and a similar one. It demonstrates to employers that you have strong hard skills.
If you have many professional awards you can list each one as a bullet point and you should include the name of the award, followed by the organization’s name, and finally the year you received it. If it is a particularly prestigious award you can include a short description of the activity which won you the award.
As well as awards you can also include professional achievements on your resume. If you increased sales, surpassed your targets, or increased traffic to a website this is impressive. Use numbers to back up your claim. For example, “Increased sales by 15%”.
You can either include professional awards on your resume under an honors and awards section or a professional recognition section. If you only have one or two professional awards to add it is better to include them in your professional experience.