How to Put Certifications On a Resume?
October 16, 2018 No Comments

How to Put Certifications On a Resume?

The list of certifications on your resume isn’t the most common part of the job application for one simple reason: not everyone has the certifications to include on a resume, and those who do often wonder whether they should mention them in the resume. As the competition in the job market is getting stiffer and it’s getting harder to get noticed by the potential employer, work seekers are considering different ways to make their resumes stand out. Relevant certifications from reputable sources are among the most effective ways to raise the credibility of your resume and maximize your chances of landing the job.

Sometimes the certifications on resume are a mandatory part of your application in certain fields, and in that case your job is to simply list the certifications in a way that is required by the HR manager. However, even if you weren’t specifically instructed to list your certifications, your resume will still benefit if you do. Relevant certifications in your resume demonstrate that you’re perfectly qualified for the job. Plus, if the HR manager at the company you’re applying to is employing an Applicant Tracking System, rest assured that the software is set up to look for specific certifications on your resume, and if it can’t find any, your resume is more than likely to be tossed away.

Which Certifications Should You Include on a Resume?

Adding certifications to resume is a tricky job for a number of reasons, but, most importantly, because it’s difficult to decide which certifications are actually worth including. Most seasoned professionals acquire dozens of different certifications, especially if they’ve had a diverse career in multiple industries. However, not all certifications are worth including in your resume.

The most essential criterion for picking the right certifications to list on your resume is their relevance. For example, if you’re applying for a position of a software developer, make sure to list all certifications that have anything to do with information technology. At the same time, the information about your CPR or education certifications has little to do with the position you’re applying to and should be left off the resume for the sake of length and clarity.

5 Certifications to Add to Your Resume

If you’re feeling that your resume lacks credible certifications, it may be time to think about getting new ones. Unfortunately, some of the most prestigious certifications are far from being cheap, but there are also some fantastic ways to obtain new skills for free and add a corresponding certification to your job application. Here are top 5 free and easy certifications to add to your resume.

  1. Free Code Camp is an online coding school that allows you to learn JavaScript, HTML5, GitHub, CSS3, and other technical skills for free. Today coding skills are in high demand among employers, and we recommend anyone in the IT field to get a certification from Free Code Camp. These courses are created by professionals for beginners, and they will take you step by step through the learning process for outstanding results.
  2. Anyone working in the sales industry can benefit from the Inbound Sales Certification Course from Hubspot. There are five classes that last for three hours, and in the end there is a 60-question exam. Answer at least 45 of those questions correctly, and you will receive a shiny new certificate from Hubspot!
  3. Inbound Marketing Certification Course from Hubspot is another popular online course. A certification from this course can maximize your chances of getting hired by a startup or other business due to the fact that it offers quick and effective training on the most popular marketing techniques, including conversion analysis, SEO, blogging, and other ways of making a business deliver results.
  4. Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, are a one-of-a-kind project that is run together by some of the most prestigious institutions. MOOCs offer an endless variety of course complete with certifications, and although not all courses by MOOCs are free, even the free ones will add a lot of credibility to your resume.
  5. The Emergency Management Institute, which you may know under FEMA title, has a wide range of free online courses. These courses take mere hours to complete, but adding one or more FEMA certifications to your resume will demonstrate your desire to be a well-rounded professional who is prepared for any possible situation.

Include Certifications in Progress

Contrary to a popular belief, your resume shouldn’t just include certifications you’ve already obtained and courses you’ve already completed. Stating that you have some certifications in progress shows you as a professional who is always eager to learn and improve. The one thing to keep in mind when listing your certifications that have not been completed yet is that you should also state the anticipated completion date. There are several ways to do it – you can put one of the following phrases at the end of each prospective certification:

  • To be completed
  • In progress
  • Expected December 2018
  • Anticipated completion: December 2018

Add a Separate Section

The format of the certifications section of a resume is the one aspect of writing a resume that causes a lot of questions among job applicants. How exactly to include your certifications to get them noticed?

According to the most seasoned HR professionals, the best way to do it is to dedicate a separate section of your resume for certifications, particularly if you have more than one to write about. Normally this section will be placed above the education section, since it’s often a depiction of your more recent and more relevant qualifications. You can title this section in one of the ways below:

  • Certifications
  • Professional Development
  • Continued Education

When listing your certifications within this section, keep the same reverse chronological order you use when listing your work experience or education. Include the dates, the name of the institution, and the nature of the certification – which new skills you acquired thanks to the training.

Combine Certifications with Education

If you have a limited number of certifications, or if the certifications aren’t too closely related to the position you are currently pursuing, or if you simply want to save the valuable space for the more essential sections of your resume, you can successfully pair the Certifications section with Education. If you decide to take this route, you can also change the name of the Education section to make it reflect the fact that it’s not just about your college or university education – the employer may also find out about your continued education that is manifested in the certifications.


Today, when the job seeking process is getting more aggressive and you need to use every tool and secret available to you to stand out from the crowd, obtaining relevant certifications and highlighting them on your resume seems like the most logical thing to do. Credible certifications may be the one thing that separates you from the variety of other candidates, so if you don’t have any certifications yet, time to get some, and if you do, do your best to describe them in your resume and get you noticed!

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