Listing awards you’ve won on your resume can be an effective way to showcase your achievements and stand out from other applicants. However, there are some important factors you should keep in mind when doing so. 

 This guide will walk you through the different award types that apply to both academic and professional contexts and will give tips on how to list your awards to make them stand out on your resume.

What Is an Award?

An award is a form of recognition for an achievement. It is often given to the winner of a competition for either professional or academic achievements. Organizations and institutions typically give awards in various fields, such as entertainment, education, business and industry.  

When listing awards on your resume, you should include the title of the award as well as when you received it. You should also add a brief description of how you earned it and any other information that may be relevant to your field. 

Let’s talk more about these awards in the next section.

Reasons to List Professional and Academic Awards

So, why should you list your awards on your resume?

 Awards, prizes, and honors are a great way to show off your accomplishments on your resume. Not only do they demonstrate a commitment and dedication to your field of study, but they also provide potential employers with an objective measure of your skill level. Furthermore, these awards can demonstrate that you’re a competitive candidate in the job market by showing how you were better than others in competitions for those awards. 

 With all the benefits that come from listing awards on resumes, it’s worth taking the time to ensure you’re putting them in the correct section of your resume. When listing awards at the end of a professional resume, list each award individually, followed by the company where it was awarded and then the date. 

 You should include any company award because it demonstrates your professionalism and work ethic when dealing with clients. If you have won many different types of awards, then list them separately into categories based on their type (e.g., academic awards, community service-related awards). 

 Including accomplishments on your resume is an important step to being selected for interviews. These accomplishments help demonstrate that you are qualified for a position and will make any employer want to meet you. It’s essential to tailor your resume each time you apply for a position so that the information showcases how well-suited you are for the job. 

 Including specific qualifications as well as related experience will help you stand out amongst other applicants. These steps are crucial when crafting your resume, which will then lead to receiving more job offers and better career opportunities. 

 You’ll also want to customize your resume depending on the type of position you’re applying for, such as highlighting skills relevant to the field or describing past responsibilities. If you’re applying for a management-level position at a tech startup, for example, “Managed social media” might not be an appropriate accomplishment because it doesn’t highlight management skills like “Led a team of 10 engineers”.

 We’ll share more tips on listing awards below.

What Is Not Considered an Accomplishment/Award?

Awards are not always as straightforward as they seem. An award can be an opportunity given by a company, often in the form of cash or cash equivalent prizes. 

 Sometimes, an award is not something you should list on your resume because it doesn’t represent an accomplishment that you completed. It should only be listed if it was a personal achievement, such as an award for running a marathon. 

 Do not include awards like the first-place trophy you received in a singing contest unless you are applying for a job that requires a singing skill. 

 The following does NOT count as an accomplishment/award:

  • Cash prizes from contests (unless related to work skills)
  • Participation trophies 
  • A one-time best-in-attendance award in college

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What Awards and Accomplishments to List

There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding what awards and accomplishments you want to list on your resume. The first thing is whether the award is related to the job you’re applying for. 

For example, if you’re applying for a position in marketing, it might make sense to include any marketing awards that you’ve won. On the other hand, if you’re applying for a position as an accountant, it makes sense not to include those same marketing awards. 

You should also consider how recent the award was; if it’s been less than one year since you won an award, then it’s worth mentioning on your resume.

Below is a guide of awards or accomplishments to consider:

1. High School and College Awards 

If you have won any high school or college-level awards, it’s important to list them because they show that you have excelled academically. If the award has a GPA requirement (e.g., 3.5 GPA), be sure to include your high school and/or college GPAs next to the award title (e.g., Sophomore of the Year: 3.5 GPA). 

 It’s also a good idea to mention if there were specific requirements for winning the award (e.g., Most Improved Player) so that employers know what level of achievement they’re getting with this person who already has proven academic success.

2. Scholarships and Awards 

Generally, it’s best to list only scholarships or fellowships relevant to the job you’re seeking. That being said, most people find themselves in a breadth vs depth dilemma when figuring out how many accolades to put on their resume. 

You should limit yourself to three awards or honours at most, but this really depends on the situation. When in doubt, just ask yourself:

  • What does my reader need? 
  • Does my reader need evidence that I am intelligent? Then showcase my intelligence by listing my academic awards and honors. 
  • Does my reader need evidence that I am ambitious? Then showcase the extra-curricular activities where I took the initiative and served others!

3. Company Awards

Another type of award you should list on your resume is company awards. These typically come in the form of annual bonuses or employee rewards given by companies. They often signify excellent performance or a willingness to go above and beyond expectations. 

 Be careful not to overstate these awards, though, because they don’t require much effort on the part of the employee. For example, if you receive $100 each year as a bonus for having perfect attendance, it’s unlikely that an employer would care too much about that fact unless he sees other indicators that he wants to hire someone like himself!

4. Industry-Specific Awards 

Finally, there is the question of industry-specific awards. For some industries, it’s crucial to include all major industry awards won. 

For example, if you’re applying for a position in advertising or marketing, it’s generally expected that you will include all major award wins on your resume. On the other hand, if you’re applying for a position in business administration or economics, then it might not be as necessary to list awards that aren’t related to the field. 

 Nevertheless, if you’re confident in your skills and it looks good on the resume, you should definitely include awards that are relevant to your desired field.

How and Where to List Accomplishments

Listing accomplishments on your resume may seem like a daunting task, but it can be broken down into manageable steps. 

Accomplishments are typically one of two types: professional and academic. When listing professional achievements, you should list them in reverse order, starting with the most recent achievement.

The same principle applies to academic awards; however, you should list the most prestigious award first and work down from there. For example, Doctoral Degree in Mechanical Engineering would be listed before a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

More Tips on Listing Awards and Accomplishments

Awards and accomplishments can help you stand out from the rest of the applicant pool. A resume with awards is more likely to get a recruiter’s attention than one without. It also helps show that you are motivated and have achieved success in your previous positions. 

 There are a variety of ways to list awards and accomplishments on your resume, such as

1. Use bullet points. 

It helps to use bullet points to list awards. This will make it easier for recruiters to scan through your achievements.

2. List your achievements under the Education or Career Highlights section. 

To support your educational achievements and career experience, you can list your achievements under the Education or Career Highlights section.

3. Use a professional resume builder.

If you are not sure what to write or include on your resume, do not hesitate to use a professional resume builder. This helps you create a resume that stands out in minutes!

4. Limit the number of achievements you list on your resume.

Include an appropriate number of achievements so you don’t overdo it. But make sure they’re relevant to the position you’re applying for. This will help recruiters see what type of work ethic and skill set they’ll be getting if they hire you. 

5. List them separately.

One way to include these achievements is by listing them separately on a Professional Experience or Education page at the end of your resume. The second way would be to include them within your objective statement. You may want to mention these in your cover letter, too.  

Remember, though, that there should not be more than two pages worth of achievements on any given resume; otherwise, you risk looking like you are bragging instead of listing skills and qualifications which can benefit the company. After all, you want the hiring manager to know how qualified and desirable you are without being pushy about it. 

For example, if you are seeking a sales representative position and have won first place in regional sales competitions, mention this achievement after the following sentence: I am committed to achieving superior results through hard work.

6. List awards in chronological order.

There is no set order for how awards are listed, but it is best to list them by date. Include the award name, date received, and a brief description of what the award was for. This will help get your resume noticed because it showcases your academic successes and professional achievement.

 Put your award titles in chronological order, starting with the oldest and ending with the newest. This way, potential employers can get a sense of how long you’ve been succeeding academically or professionally. 

7. Write short award descriptions.

Include a brief description of what you accomplished to win the award. This helps readers understand why it’s worth mentioning on your resume.

8. Ensure the awards are recent and relevant to the role you are applying for.

When listing your academic awards, make sure they are recent and relevant to the position for which you are applying. Many people may not know what constitutes an award winner, so it is important to provide context when listing awards, such as the National Honor Society or a 4.0 GPA. 

You can also include any scholarships you have received or honors programs. These accomplishments show potential employers how dedicated you are to excelling in your field of study and striving for greatness. 

 There are many other types of awards you can include on your resume if applicable, including awards for volunteer work, sports achievements, leadership roles, etc., but again, they should be relevant to the role you are applying for.

9. Include relevant information, like dates and locations.

If you are going into detail about your award(s), provide specific details, including dates and location. Avoid writing things like 1st place winner because it doesn’t provide enough information.

Key Takeaways

It’s important to highlight your achievements on a resume, but it can be difficult to know how. The trick is to make sure that your accomplishments are in direct alignment with the position you’re applying for. 

 For example, if you’re applying for a job in marketing, it makes sense that you would highlight your marketing degree and any awards related to this field. If you have an impressive array of other accomplishments unrelated to the position you are applying for, list them on your personal website or social media sites so they can be called up when needed. But remember that these should not be included on the resume itself!