Over your professional and personal life, you may have amassed recognition and a number of certificates and awards related to your chosen industry. When you apply for a job, it is a good idea to touch on these awards in your CV to show potential employers that there is more to you than a degree, skills and work history. Like all other sections in your CV, there is a right way and a wrong way to structure your CV awards section. Learn how to structure this particular aspect of your CV for maximum impact and effect.
Explain the Relevancy of Your Awards
Many applicants have gotten into the habit of blandly listing their awards, but rather than list your awards one by one without any background information, it is better that you explain the relevancy of each award. For instance, what did it take for you to receive the award? Is the award professional or personal? If not indicated by the name of the word, be sure to mention the company, organization or individual who gave you the award.
Be Sure Your CV Awards Section and the Rest of Your CV Look the Same
Take note of how you format the rest of your CV while deciding how to organize your CV awards section. For instance, maintain a paragraph format for your awards if you have done the same with your work history and education, and the same applies if you use bullet points.
Note the Difference Between Personal and Professional Awards
While it is perfectly fine for you to list personal achievements in your CV awards section, it is best that those personal achievements are relevant to the job for which you are applying. Additionally, you will want to separate and group your personal and professional awards together in your CV. Not only does this make the section easier to read, but you may have a potential employer who cares more about your professional awards than your personal ones, and categorizing your awards makes it easy for hiring managers to find what they need.
Only List Your Most Recent Awards
Keep your awards section as current as possible, which means excluding that perfect attendance certificate you got in middle school. It is best to only stick with awards earned as far back as high school. You may also want to include awards for which you were considered but did not win, but again, make sure they are relevant to the job for which you are applying.
Make Sure Your Background Information Is Easy to Understand
No matter how technical your industry might be, try your best to keep your awards section free of technical words and phrases. Do not expect that a hiring manager is familiar with industry jargon or any professional vernacular you might want to include in your awards section. For those times when you do not have any choice but to include details, write them as if you were telling someone who has no idea of your industry, the job for which you are applying or the professional organization that presented you with the award.
Ensure All of Your Awards and Achievements Are Real
Taking the above tip a step further, it might be tempting to make up awards if you know the hiring manager who will see your CV is not familiar with the technical jargon contained in your awards description. It is best that you refrain from spinning awards from thin air as you never know when a hiring manager will research your listed awards. Remember that receiving a job offer is about more than your level of recognition.
Rather than hurrying through the awards section on your CV, take your time and use it as the powerful resource it is. It might be just the thing that makes both your CV and you stand out during your interview. Be sure to check out a few examples for guidance.