In a competitive job market, it is important to have a resume which stands out from the crowd. Listing Honors and Awards on your resume gives you the edge you need to reach the interview stage and beyond.
When looking for a first job, many students find that their resume gets lost in a pile and barely gets considered. Especially when there are countless other applicants with similar qualifications and skills.
Your degrees and experience will distinguish you from thousands of other candidates but remember that employers have to look through dozens of resumes on a daily basis. Sometimes you need a little something extra.
Adding Honors and Awards to your resume can give it the invaluable advantage it needs to get you noticed. Using a resume template allows you to quickly achieve this.
Check out the following guide to find out where awards should go on a resume and how to include them so that they can positively influence your candidacy.
How to write honors and awards on your resume
If you’ve decided that an Honors and Awards section will add value to your resume, you should create a separate resume section to make your accomplishments stand out.
In this Honors and Awards resume section, it’s possible to add scholarships, academic awards, and honor societies as well as other professional certificates gained throughout your academic or professional career.
If you have lots of work experience, it is advisable to include any professional awards on your resume to highlight the fact your work was recognized for its excellence in a certain field.
The accomplishments that you choose to add to your resume must be relevant to the job vacancy you’re applying to or relate in some way to the industry or specific company.
When it comes to listing awards on a resume you should remember to include the details of when and where it was awarded to you, such as the date and the school, college or enterprise.
When should you include honors and awards on your resume?
Your resume is one of the most important tools you have at your disposal during a job hunt. It’s the first point of contact for potential employers, and it is what they’ll use to decide whether or not to give you an interview.
Therefore knowing how to write a good resume is crucial. You need to tailor it to the job at hand to show how you will add value to your potential employer’s organization. Putting Honors and Awards on your resume can do this, but only if you use the right ones.
Should I include honors and awards on my resume? The answer to this question depends on a few considerations. The main aspect to consider is whether or not the achievement is relevant for the position you’re applying to.
If you are a student, it is definitely worth including Honors and Awards on a resume because you are likely to have limited work experience and you will need to fill space.
Honors and Awards on a resume can highlight skills which are valuable to many employers. The same applies if you have limited work experience or are writing an entry-level resume.
Your personal statement can show that you have self-belief, your Awards and Honors section on your resume can prove you have the ability. They can also be verified during the background check.
When not to include Honors and Awards on a resume? In most cases resumes shouldn’t be longer than a page. Space on your resume is therefore highly valuable. If you are not a student and have more relevant work experience, you won’t be struggling to fill space and it may be more beneficial to focus on other areas of your resume.
Every item on your resume should highlight why you are the best candidate for the job, so only write a resume with Honors and Awards if the achievements are directly relevant.
On a professional resume it can be useful to include professional awards, if they are relevant to the position you’re applying for, as they act as an easy reference for your ability.
For example, if you’re applying for a job in accounting at the age of 30, don’t include an award you won at school for creative writing.
Or if you won an award for Best Young Web Designer, and you are applying for a job as a web designer, it will clearly look good and help make your resume stand out.
Tips for building your honors and awards section
Depending on your professional profile, including a specific resume section dedicated to honors and awards could be just what you need to stand out in the application process.
- Most colleges and higher education institutions have academic honor societies for their brightest students. Make sure you include the names of these along with a brief description.
- Also include relevant professional awards and any involvement you’ve had in professional societies if it relates to the job you’re applying for.
- Don’t include high school honors on your resume. Unless you’ve just finished high school and are creating a high school student resume, there’s no need to include them in your education section. It will seem like you’re desperately trying to fill space.
- Provide information with each award. Give an explanation of what each achievement means and what it involved. The employer may not be familiar with the award or the organization, so briefly explain this by including scope, significance and purpose of the accomplishment.
- Focus on the elements which are directly relevant to the job at hand. Do not add unnecessary information if it is not pertinent to the vacancy or industry you’re applying to.
Where should Awards and Honors go on a resume?
Deciding where to place an Awards and Honors section will depend on the resume format. However, no matter how impressive this section is, it should not be the main focus of your resume.
So, where do you put awards on a resume?
Any awards and acknowledgements that you choose to add to your resume should be prominent, but your experience and qualifications are the main selling points. You could put it directly below or next to your Experience or Qualifications section.
Your resume tells your story, and demonstrates why you are the right person for a position. The Awards and Honors section should accompany your Qualifications and Experience, adding extra value to your resume.
Using an online resume builder is a simple and effective way of writing a winning resume which will get you through to the interview stage.
Why include Honors and Awards on a resume
Should I include awards on my resume? The simple answer is yes, if you have the space on your resume and the achievements are relevant to your professional profile and the job offer, then it is perfectly acceptable and often recommended to list your accomplishments, including any awards and honors, on your resume.
To understand the importance of adding awards to a resume, it’s key to remember that hiring managers receive dozens if not hundreds of resumes for potentially just one vacancy, which means the successful candidate needs to find a way of making their resume stand out! An Honors and Awards section is just the way to do that.
Whether you’re just graduated high school or you’ve been working in the industry for many years, being awarded or honored for your work or academic excellence is always an impressive accomplishment that should be highlighted when you’re applying for a new position.
Don’t hold back if you have various awards in a certain field or you’ve achieved something special in a previously-held position similar to the vacancy. Humility has no place on your resume!