If you're wondering about awards to put on a resume—in particular, whether awards actually have any place on a resume—the answer is yes.
If you've received any professional awards—especially, any industry-wide awards—aim to include them on your resume, for awards can work wonders with providing prospective employers insight into the type of employee you'd be.
Let's now take a look at some of the most common awards to put on a resume.
Best Performer Awards
It goes without saying that some of the very best awards to put on a resume are those that reward excellent performance. Whether it is for sales or for the company safety record, these types of awards show that you are an asset to any organization you work for, and that you take your responsibilities very seriously.
I used to recruit for sales roles quite frequently, and anyone who had President's Club Award (or something along those lines) always caught the interest of the hiring manager. However, such awards should be part of the results of what you did to earn the award. It's great if you won Sales Person of the Year Award, but be specific about what you did to win this award. Note as a bullet point under one of your jobs. For example:
"Generated $10+ million in sales every year for the last three years, increasing sales in one territory by 32 percent, and earning Sales Person of the Year award every year."
A statement like this will tell a recruiter or hiring manager what you did specifically, and how you were recognized for it.
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Employee of the Month
Too many job seekers neglect adding Employee of the Month awards because they feel these are not great awards to put on a resume. The thinking here, for many, is this—if someone wins this award every month, how is it special?
However, if you have a habit of consistently winning Employee of the Month awards at companies where you work, then that shows a trend of excellence that will definitely impress hiring managers. Also, if you work at a large, enterprise-size company (where there are thousands of employees)—winning Employee of the Month is definitely something special!
PS: You can use LiveCareer's Resume Builder to add awards to your resume.
Person of the Year
When trying to decide which civic and community awards would be great awards to put on a resume, it helps to use awards that are an annual recognition of some sort of excellence. For example, a Person of the Year award or a Community Watch Volunteer of the Year award show that you have the tenacity and dedication to stick with something at a high level for an extended period of time (in this case, 12 whole months!).
Another benefit to an annual civic award is that they show strong involvement in a community. Many hiring managers put a premium on applicants who are actively and positively involved in their communities, for it speaks volumes about an applicant's character.
If you want to advance your career, aim to join professional association within your industry. Any awards that you win within those professional organizations would definitely be great awards to put on a resume.
Industry awards can be extremely difficult to win. If you end up snagging one, it should be profiled in one of the premium real estate spots on your resume (for example, your summary statement). If you have any industry awards in your credits, be sure to note them in your resume!
High School Student Awards
Were you inducted into the National Honor Society when you were in high school? Did your high school award you with an Outstanding Student of the Year award? These are great examples of awards to put on a resume if you're a workforce newbie. Any awards or prizes that show you've excelled in local or national competitions (for example, a National Science Fair) will help you in your first job search (also—when applying to colleges/universities).
Once you've been in the world of work for a few years, however, it's your (quantifiable) achievements and role responsibilities that count—you'll leave high school awards out at that point.
Go the extra mile with making your award(s) more meaningful by quantifying the accomplishments behind the award(s). For example, how many people did you beat out to get the award? What was the award for? What did you win?
Final Notes on Awards to Put on a Resume
- Mention the title of the award, and the level of recognition as well (school, state, national, international, industry-specific, etc.).
- Choose impressive, action-oriented verbs as well: "Achieved recognition for . . ." or "Awarded . . ." or "Selected for/as . . ." or "Recognized as . . ." Don't include non-academic awards; instead, try to integrate these in your activities section.
- Make note on your resume of most of the awards for which you were recognized. However, if the award has nothing to do with your work, or doesn't show you in a professional light, definitely don't include it. For example, you wouldn't list a Bake-Off Award unless you were applying for a job as a baker, pastry chef, or pastry chef apprentice, or another food-related position.
- Go the extra mile with making your award(s) more meaningful by quantifying the accomplishments behind the award(s). For example, how many people did you beat out to get the award? What was the award for? What did you win? For example, say you were chosen out of a field of 200 applicants to receive a 30K scholarship—a recruiter or hiring manager would be impressed by this.
Don't worry if you don't have any awards to put on a resume. There are many, many people out there who have never listed an award won on their resume, and they've all gone on to get hired. Awards can help, but as long as you have the experience and impressive achievements that are relevant to the job you're going after, and you tailor your resume to said job, you're in good shape!
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