3 Dos & Don'ts for Your Awards Section in Your Resume
You've spent a lifetime building up awards, certificates, and all manner of great credentials. These kinds of awards show off just how hard you work in your career and in your community. Including an awards section in your resume is a good idea because it helps reinforce the idea that you do more than work. A prospective employer would be impressed with an awards section, but you've got to go about it the right way if you want it to have a positive effect.
1. Do make sure your awards section is formatted properly
In order for your awards section to enhance your resume, it needs to be consistent with your resume's look. Keep the formatting consistent throughout your resume, which includes your accomplishments.If you're using bullet points throughout your resume, then use them in your awards section as well. If you're writing narratives in paragraph form, then use that format in your awards section.
2. Do give some background information with each award.
Along with mentioning your awards, you'll also want to give a quick explanation as to what each award means. Is it a personal or professional accomplishment? What did you have to do to get the award? You may also want to say just a couple of words about the organization that presented the awards, if that information isn't obvious.
3. Do separate your professional awards from your personal awards.
A resume needs to be easy to read and that means having it broken down into sections. Your awards section will be easier for your reader to scan if your resume is broken down into components based on professional and personal achievements.
4. Don't go too deep into your past.
It was probably neat to win the "most outstanding boy award" for your third grade class, but it doesn't really need to be included in your awards section. It's best to just stick with awards from high school on up, but remember to be list as many awards as you can.
5. Don't use too much technical industry jargon in your awards section.
Your awards section descriptions need to be helpful, but not loaded with terminology that the hiring manager may not understand. If you have a group of awards from a professional organization you belong to, then you'll want to keep the professional lingo to a minimum. Describe each award in your awards section in the same way you would describe them to someone who had no idea what you were talking about. Just remember to keep your descriptions short.
6. Don't make up awards just to look better.
You never know what a hiring manager will want to talk about in an interview, and you never know when you'll get a hiring manager who is familiar with an award you mention. If you make up awards in your awards section, then that could come back to haunt you. An awards section needs to be an accurate accounting of your lifetime accomplishments. If you want an impressive awards section, then go out and earn it!
Your Awards Section Can Be A Great Conversation Starter
Having awards on your resume can really help you stand out and give you an edge in your interviews. The LiveCareer website has plenty of information on how to create a great awards section for your website. Use the resume builder and resume writing tools to put together an awards section that will impress any hiring manager.