And the winner is…*drum roll*... YOU!
Have you prepared your speech? Winning any type of award is flattering. Whether you've been recognized for your contributions at work or have entered a competition, you may want to shout about your accolades. So, how do you list these awards on your resume?
Recruiters spend around seven seconds looking at each resume that lands on their desk (or in their inbox!). That's not a whole load of time to make the right impression on them and win an interview. If you want to catch their eye, you need to use everything in your arsenal. That's why it's important to include complimentary awards on your resume.
Believe it or not, there's a right and wrong way to include awards on your resume. Looking for a new job at the moment? In this short guide, we will go over everything you need to know: from what type of awards to include to where you need to place them.
Which awards should you include on your resume?
Before you get started, you're going to need to know which awards to list on your resume. Spoiler alert: a hiring manager is unlikely to be all that interested in your high school swimming award…unless, of course, you're applying to be a swimming teacher. Understanding which types of awards are appropriate for your resume is your first step toward success.
If you're unsure where to start, you've come to the right place. Luckily, we've got you covered. Here's a quick breakdown of the types of awards you should include:
Are there any awards that are specific to your industry? The fact that you've won this type of award shows a hiring manager that you are recognized in the wider field. Often seen as more prestigious than company awards, these honors show you're known in the sector.
When listing these awards, be sure to include the body, the title, and the year that you won. If you want to add some extra clout to your application, you can include how many nominees were in the running. For example, you could say “out of 100 other candidates.”
When writing your resume, your education section is absolutely vital. Think back, did you win any academic awards that will set you apart from the crowd? Don't be shy about tooting your own horn. Since the majority of candidates will have the same educational background, these awards could be crucial in landing you the interview.
These types of awards are particularly useful when it comes to entry-level resumes. If you don't have a whole load of industry experience, you can use your academic accolades to bolster your application. Be sure to include the title and the year that you achieved them. Here are some of the academic achievements you may want to include on your resume:
Best in class awards
Dean's list and/or honor roll
Other class-based titles
While there's a broad variety of education awards you can include, you should consider what each tells a hiring manager about you. For instance, if you were class president, chances are that you have great people skills and are a natural-born leader. That's a formidable combination if they are looking for a salesperson or manager.
If you've excelled in a role, your company may recognize that with an award. It should come as no surprise that these accomplishments can enhance your resume. Of course, each business will have a different set of awards on offer for employees. However, some of the common ones you may see include the following:
Employee of the month and/or year
Top performer awards
Company awards show that you have been a valuable asset to the business. That's good news in the eyes of any hiring manager. When you're listing these awards on your resume, be as specific as possible. For example, you shouldn't merely write “Employee of the Month.” Instead, get in there with the details and put “Employee of the Month, April 2022.”
Have you won an award outside of the workplace or classroom? You may be part of a society, have joined a specialist club, or have excelled in your hobbies. Extracurricular awards can add weight to your resume. However, you should think about whether they are appropriate to include on your application and what they say about you as a professional. Let's take a look at some of the extracurricular awards you may want to highlight:
Volunteering or charity awards
Arts and culture-based awards
Military honors and awards
Athletic or sports team awards
Society or community awards
Before you put your awards on your resume, take a moment to think about whether they are appropriate. For instance, if you are applying to work for a charity and have previously won a community development award, that fits well. On the other hand, if you are an illustrator and have an arts award under your belt, that's going to put you in good stead.
Where should you include awards on your resume?
Now that you understand what type of awards you need to include on your resume, let's talk about where to put them. There are three main areas where you can list awards on your resume: your education section, your employment section, or a dedicated awards section. Which area you choose will depend on the type of award you're listing. If you're stumped, don't worry.
Here's a quick breakdown of each option:
If you've received an academic award, the most obvious place to put it is in your education section. You should ensure that the placement aligns with when you received the award. For example, if you were class president in the academic year 2017-18, add the award under that period.
Marketing and Communications, Bachelor of Arts
University of Florida, Florida 2016-2019
Dean's List and Honors Roll
Most of the time, you can simply add your award under the main information about the qualification. You may want to use a bullet-pointed format or just place it on a line beneath.
When listing either company or industry-specific awards, chances are they will fit best in the employment section. Once again, you can put these below your position, company, and years of employment. If you won an industry award while working for a certain business, it might be logical to include it here. Check out our example below.
Sales Manager, Dancewear Inc., Iowa City
Jan 2020 - Jun 2022
Regional Salesperson of the Year 2021
As you can see here, you don't have to include loads of detail when listing awards on your resume. However, you do have to get the basics right. That means including the date you achieved the award and other minor details. The more specific you are, the better.
Dedicated awards section
Are you a real go-getter? Are you more decorated than the world's biggest athletes? If you're a serial award-winner, you might want to create a dedicated area on your resume. The usual placement for this is below your education section at the bottom of the page.
Awards & Achievements
Top Performing Salesperson of the Year 2021
Iowa Region Sales Star 2020
Listed in “Top 10 Sales Professionals to Watch”
Should you choose to include your awards in this way, ensure that they are in the same realm. There's very little merit in listing a bunch of unrelated awards. Be selective when it comes to the achievements that you decide to include on your professional resume.
Important things to remember when listing awards
Ready to put pen to paper and spruce up your resume? If you've missed any awards off your resume up until now, you may find that they give you the competitive edge. Before you get started, there are some final things that you may want to keep in mind:
Quantify your awards, wherever possible
Always include the date you earned the award
Consider whether the award fits your profession
If applicable, note the body that gave the award
Awards can help you grab a hiring manager's attention — and keep it — for all the right reasons. As we have covered here, there are plenty of places where you can list your awards on your resume. Now you know what to do, it's time to include your achievements.
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