Guide: How To Include Awards And Achievements On Your Resume

Updated 12 February 2023

Whether you made the dean's list at your university or helped an organisation increase its sales, you have likely received recognition for your academic and professional accomplishments. When applying for jobs, you may wonder how to list these awards on your resume. Listing your most relevant accomplishments in the right sections can help you impress hiring managers and differentiate yourself from other candidates. In this article, we explain how to list awards and achievements on your resume, provide tips and elaborate on the importance of this strategy when applying for jobs.

How To List Awards And Achievements On Your Resume?

Here are the steps for listing awards and achievements on your resume:

1. Differentiate achievements from responsibilities

You can start by differentiating achievements from responsibilities. Responsibility is a task that the organisation you are with expects you to perform as a participating member. An achievement is an accomplishment that demonstrates your ability to go beyond your responsibilities.

For instance, university students have basic responsibilities ranging from turning assignments in on time to obtaining passing scores on exams. Achievements in the university include making the dean's list or serving as the student body president. As these examples demonstrate, achievements showcase your unique skills and differentiate you from your peers as not everyone obtains them. Consider remembering these basic definitions to ensure you include achievements and not responsibilities when highlighting your academic and professional accomplishments on your resume.

Related: Additional Information You Can Include On Your Resume

2. Consider different types of achievements

If you find it challenging to list your academic, professional and personal achievements, consider setting designating time to reflect. You can think of the work you have done throughout your career that has contributed to positive outcomes. You might also ask past educators or supervisors how your work has helped you exceed an organisation's expectations. Examples of achievements and awards you might include on your resume include:

  • Sports awards

  • Scholarships

  • Academic awards

  • Community and civic awards

  • Employee of the month award

  • Leadership positions

  • Volunteer-related recognitions

  • Promotions

  • Top performer awards

Related: How To Include Accomplishments On Your Resume

3. Choose the most relevant awards

While employers may consider your entire academic and professional career, they have limited time to review your qualifications. You can keep your resume concise by choosing the most relevant awards you have earned. This approach ensures you highlight your strengths as they relate to your industry and the position to which you are applying. For instance, imagine that you had a career in education for several years before transitioning to a research-based career. If you are applying for a new research position, you might want to focus on the research-related awards you earned instead of the education-related awards.

You can also consider when you earned each award when determining their relevance. Listing more recent awards might demonstrate your continued commitment to and involvement in your field. For instance, if you have two similar awards that relate to your volunteer work, you might choose to include the most recent one on your resume.

Related: Resume For Freshers: Guide With Template

4. List awards in the education section

If you are a new graduate and want to make your resume appear more impressive, you might focus on your academic achievements. It is often appropriate to list these achievements in the education section of your resume, as they closely relate to your school.

You can match each achievement to the institution at which you earned it and include information such as the name of the award and the date you earned it. Many people list achievements such as placement on the dean's list, grade point averages and specific academic honours like valedictorian or salutatorian. Consider adding achievement information directly underneath the institution at which you earned it.

Related: What Is A Technical Resume? (How To Write One And Tips)

5. List accomplishments in the experience section

If you have been in the workforce long enough to earn professional awards, you can include these accomplishments in the experience section of your resume. This strategy is particularly effective for qualifying for more advanced positions by demonstrating your industry expertise and work ethic. Examples of professional achievements include earning a promotion, introducing new processes, increasing sales and increasing social media reach. A professional award might be something like employee of the month or top sales performer.

Like academic achievements, you can list professional achievements underneath the entry at which you earned them. Consider using bullet points to explain what the award is and what you did to earn it. These bullet points are often part of the duties you performed on the job. For instance, if an entry describes your customer service representative role at a previous company, a bullet point like "earned employee of the month three months in a role for providing exceptional service" might accompany other bullet points describing your duties.

Related: Free Modern Resume Templates And Examples (With Tips)

6. Create a separate section

If you have a lot of relevant awards, consider creating a separate section. An 'Awards and Achievements' section on your resume allows you to showcase achievements that are not necessarily specific to a certain role or educational institution. They offer broader insight into accomplishments throughout not only your academic and professional careers but also your personal life. Examples of personal awards include recognitions for raising money for charity or volunteering.

For each entry in this section, you can start by including the name of the award. You might also add the date you received the award, its significance and its scope (whether it is a regional, national or international award). Consider including the section at the bottom of your resume, as it can be a good way to showcase what resulted from your education and work experience.

Related: How To Write A Resume Employers Will Notice

Tips For Including Achievements On Your Resume

Here are some tips for including achievements on your resume:

Keep a list

Consider tracking your achievements as you earn them. Keeping a list can ensure you remember your most important accomplishments and prevent stress when it is time to apply for new jobs. You can track achievements by using a journal or adding them directly to your resume.

Related: 6 Universal Rules For Resume Writing

Quantify your accomplishments

Try to quantify your accomplishments when possible, as numbers may make them appear more compelling to potential employers. For instance, imagine that you won an award for top sales performer at your previous job. In addition to stating the name of the award, you might explain that you won it because you increased your team's sales by 40%.

Related: How To Make a Resume (With Examples)

Use reverse chronological order

If you include your awards in a separate section at the bottom of your resume, consider listing the entries in reverse chronological order. That means you include the most recent achievements first and the older achievements last. This approach keeps the section organised while showcasing your most relevant awards first.

Related: How To Incorporate Reverse Chronological Order In A Resume

Why Include Achievements On Your Resume?

While it is not necessary to include achievements on your resume, it can help you set yourself apart in a competitive job market. Other candidates may not include this information, allowing employers to view you as an accomplished and valuable asset. If other candidates do include their achievements, including yours helps you remain competitive against qualified talent.

Regardless of whether other candidates mention their awards, your awards serve as a nice addition to your resume. They complement your education and experience by demonstrating that you can go beyond a standard job description. Additionally, the hiring manager might read your resume and ask you about your accomplishments during the interview. This situation allows you to discuss your achievements without sounding boastful. You might even be able to use your awards as leverage when negotiating benefits, as the employer might be willing to offer you better compensation in exchange for your qualifications.

Explore more articles

  • Creating A One-Page Resume (With Template and Examples)
  • How to Format a Cover Letter (With Example)
  • How To Write a Fashion Designer Resume (With Template and Example)
  • How To Write An English Lecturer Resume (With Example)
  • How To Write A Spring Boot Resume (With Tips And Example)
  • How To Write A Short Bio (With Format, Tips And Examples)
  • What Is A Quality Engineer Job Description? (With Sample)
  • What Is A Freelancer Resume? (And How To Create One)
  • How To Write A Product Analyst Resume (With Template)
  • How To Write A Cyber Security Cover Letter (With Example)
  • How To Highlight Project Management Skills On A Resume
  • Popular Tour Guiding Skills: Definition And Examples