How to Format Your Honors & Awards on Your Resume

How to Format Your Honors & Awards on Your Resume

If you've received honors and awards in your education or career life, congratulations! Those awards and honors do more than just collect dust in your trophy case. You can put them to work by including them in your resume and letting them wow potential employers.

 Here are a few good ideas for getting your awards on your resume in a way that will make hiring managers sit up and take notice.

Add Relevant Awards

If you came in second in the Miss Hawaiian Tropic contest, I might like to borrow your tips on whittling down my waistline for bikini season, but I don't need this information if I'm considering you for a pharmaceutical sales position or a quality control associate at a manufacturing plant. 

Likewise, if I'm hiring you for a modeling gig, I'll want to see a headshot and your modeling awards, not your blue ribbon in horticulture at the state fair in 2009. Keep the awards relevant to your job and industry.

Real Titles Only, Please

Don't be vague. If you write that you were "honored and applauded for excellent customer service on the sales floor in 2008," well, that's great, but did you win an award, or was this something your boss mentioned to you offhandedly after one particularly good Saturday afternoon of sales? If it's an award, the employer wants to know exactly what honor you were given. Don't make things up. Hiring managers can tell.

Be Specific

If you served on the Board of Directors and were given a national service award for a particular charity for two years in a row, tell the reader what charity it was, what was your position, what the award was, and which years you won the award. 

It's unlikely that the manager will fact check, but they’re more likely to believe you if you provide details. Plus, it shows that the awards were important to you, which means that the work you did to earn them was also important to you.

Be Judicious

You have to research the organization or company, but also the position you're applying for when listing your awards. Your copywriting award might be impressive, but it won’t help you in a business analyst role. Choose your awards wisely, and make sure they're relevant to both the position and the company you're interested in.

Professional Activities and Organizations

If you're a member of a professional organization like a particular bar association, a medical committee, or a fundraising group for a non-profit, you should list these on your resume even if they haven't given you any awards for serving (yet). These show a commitment to your profession and an interest in working outside of the bounds of your job for the good of your industry. Make sure you accurately note the years and in what capacities you served these organizations.

Hiring managers look for a lot more than just your ability to get the job done. They want an overall good person who cares about her career and profession as a whole, and isn't just after a paycheck. They want to know that you're interested in your job and making strides in the industry. That's why these awards show off your commitment to the profession as well as any strokes of excellence you might have shown. If you need more help constructing the awards section of your resume, head on over to LiveCareer's Resume Builder and check out some of their industry-specific resume examples for inspiration.

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