How to Include Certifications on Resumes

October 24, 2023

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Your resume is the first impression you make on potential employers, and it’s crucial to ensure it stands out in a competitive job market. 

One way to make yours more appealing is by including relevant certifications on resume.

A study found that 91% of hiring managers report certification is an important criteria for hiring.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of including certifications on your resume, how to highlight them effectively and provide a list of the best certificates to consider adding in 2023.

 

Should You Put Certifications on Your Resume?

Certifications are a testament to your skills, knowledge, and expertise in a specific field. Including them on your resume can significantly enhance your chances of securing the job you desire. 

Here’s why you should consider adding certifications to your resume:

Certifications validate your expertise and show potential employers that you have acquired a certain level of competence in a particular area.

This can be especially beneficial when applying for roles that require specialized skills. See some of the best high income skills you can add to your resume.

In today’s competitive job market, having certifications sets you apart from other candidates who may not possess them. It demonstrates your commitment to professional development and lifelong learning.

Certifications add credibility to your resume, making it more likely that employers will trust your qualifications. This is particularly important if you are a recent graduate or changing careers.

Certifications are especially valuable when they directly align with the job you’re applying for. They serve as concrete proof of your capability to handle the responsibilities of the position.

Many organizations use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen resumes. Including certifications with relevant keywords can increase the chances of your resume passing through the ATS and reaching the hands of a human reviewer.

While there are many advantages to including certifications on your resume, it’s essential to exercise discretion. 

Not all certifications are created equal, and including too many irrelevant or outdated ones can clutter your resume. 

Therefore, it’s essential to be selective and strategic in choosing which certifications to highlight.

 

How to Highlight Certifications on Your Resume

Now that you understand the importance of certifications let’s explore how to effectively include them on your resume:

1. Create a Dedicated Section

The most common way to showcase your certifications is by creating a separate section titled “Certifications” or “Professional Certifications.”

Place this section near the top of your resume, following your contact information and professional summary.

2. Use a Clean Format

Present your certifications in a clear and organized format. Include the certification name, the certifying body or institution, the date of certification, and, if applicable, the expiration date.

You can use bullet points to make this information easy to scan through.

3. Prioritize Relevance

As mentioned earlier, be selective about which certifications to include. Emphasize certifications that directly relate to the job you’re applying for.

This will not only make your resume more focused but also save space for other crucial information.

4. Include Additional Information

If your certifications require substantial effort, such as a master’s degree or a lengthy professional course, consider providing a brief description of the certification or the topics covered.

This can help employers understand the depth of your knowledge.

5. Highlight Achievements

If your certificates involved notable achievements, such as graduating with honors or receiving an award, mention these accomplishments in the certification section. It can further enhance your resume’s impact.

6. Keep It Current

Regularly update your certification section to reflect your most recent accomplishments. If a certification expires, remove it from your resume to maintain accuracy.

7. Consider Placement

If you have numerous certifications, consider categorizing them based on relevance.

For instance, you may have separate sections for technical certifications, project management certifications, or language proficiency certifications.

8. Tailor Your Resume

Customize your resume for each job application by highlighting credentials that are most relevant to the specific role. This demonstrates a strong alignment between your qualifications and the job requirements.

 

20 Best Certificates for Resumes in 2023

In 2023, certain certifications can boost your resume and demonstrate your commitment to staying current in your field. 

Here are some of the best certificates to consider adding to your resume:

certifications on resume

1. Project Management Professional (PMP):

If you’re in a project management role or aspire to be, the PMP certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) is highly regarded and widely recognized.

2. Certified Data Analyst (CDA):

With the growing importance of data analysis in various industries, the CDA certification can showcase your proficiency in data analytics and interpretation. According to Statista, 63% of employers consider IT certifications to be very valuable in their hiring process.

3. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM):

For those in software development and agile project management, the CSM certification demonstrates expertise in Scrum practices and principles.

Click the link for a great software engineer guide and other certifications you can pursue.

4. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP):

In the field of cybersecurity, the CISSP certification is highly respected and can validate your skills in securing information systems.

5. Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ):

In the digital marketing realm, the GAIQ certification proves your proficiency in Google Analytics, a crucial tool for tracking website performance.

If you currently don’t have any certificates, opt for some Digital Marketing courses to boost your qualification.

6. Certified Public Accountant (CPA):

If you’re in finance or accounting, the CPA certification is a well-established qualification that demonstrates your expertise in financial management and accounting practices.

7. Certified Salesforce Administrator:

If you’re in sales or CRM management, this certification signifies your expertise in Salesforce, a widely used customer relationship management platform.

8. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL):

If you’re interested in teaching English abroad or to non-native speakers, a TEFL certification can open doors to opportunities worldwide.

9. Certified HR Professional (PHR/SPHR):

In the field of human resources, the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certifications can establish your credibility.

10. Foreign Language Proficiency Certifications:

Depending on your career goals, certificates in foreign languages, such as the DELE for Spanish or the JLPT for Japanese, can be invaluable, especially if you’re pursuing international roles.

11. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA):

This certification is ideal for professionals in IT audit, control, and assurance, demonstrating your ability to assess and manage information systems.

12. Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP):

For those in business analysis, the CBAP certification showcases your skills in analyzing business processes and requirements.

13. Certified Financial Planner (CFP):

If you’re in the financial planning or advisory field, the CFP certification is a mark of excellence in personal financial planning.

14. Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB):

In the realm of process improvement and quality management, this certification highlights your skills in reducing defects and improving efficiency.

15. Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM):

For professionals in supply chain and procurement, the CPSM certification demonstrates your expertise in supply management practices.

16. Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP):

With the growing importance of cloud computing, the CCSP certification showcases your knowledge in cloud security and management.

17. Certified Professional in Human Resources International (PHRi):

For those in the global HR field, this certification emphasizes your international HR knowledge and skills.

18. Certified Event Planner (CEPS):

If you’re in the event planning and management industry, the CEP certification validates your skills in coordinating and executing successful events.

19. Certified Quality Engineer (CQE):

In quality control and assurance, the CQE certification can highlight your skills in maintaining product and process quality.

20. Certified User Experience Professional (CUXP):

If you work in UX design, the CUXP certification can demonstrate your expertise in creating user-friendly digital experiences.

 

Takeaways

Certifications are a valuable addition to your resume that can set you apart from other job applicants. They validate your expertise, enhance your credibility, and make your resume more appealing to potential employers. 

However, it’s essential to be strategic in selecting and presenting certifications to ensure they align with your career goals and the specific job you’re applying for.

Currently, the job market is likely to remain competitive, and staying updated with relevant certifications can help you stand out. 

When crafting your resume, create a dedicated certification section, keep the information concise and organized, and prioritize the most relevant certifications. 

By following these guidelines and selecting the proper certifications, you can boost your chances of landing your dream job and advancing in your career. Boost your resume to greater heights by clicking the link to learn what to include in your resume.

Diane Wong