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Awards and honors

This can include awards relating to your academic achievements (especially important for entry level job candidates), professional accomplishments, and community contributions. Awards and honors are there to reveal that not only are you capable of the demands of your new job but that you are also able to achieve above and beyond that what is expected of you. This looks great on your resume.

You can place any of these types of achievements in a new section, usually after your professional experience section, called “Awards and Honors”. For further information on catching the employer’s eye read how to stand out in a competitive marketplace.

Awards and honors to include

  • Scholarships

  • A scholarship may be fully funded or partly funded by public or private institutions. Regardless of the amount of funding you should state this on your resume as it shows that you are seen by others to have the academic fortitude to complete your line of study.

  • Academic competitions

  • If you are an entry-level candidate and have completed a school or college project both individual and group based that received awards by all means mention it on your resume. This also includes competitions such as spelling contests, sports events, poetry, writing competitions and debating, among many others. It is recommended if these awards from your education are over 5 - 10 years old and not relevant to your line of work you may omit them.

  • National competitions

  • It may be the case that you excelled at a competition at school or via an extra-curricular society and then you were entered into a national or even an international competition. These grand events can certainly be showcased on your resume and will prove to highlight just how outstanding you are on the particular topic you won an award for.

  • Sales awards

  • Any company trying to make revenue will always be impressed by a sales hotshot. Lay your awards down including your industry and dates of achievement. Also mention how much profit or revenue you achieved.

  • Productivity and Innovation awards

  • Developing new technology, aids and ways of improving the world is seen as a great thing by many employers. If you won an award even better, so note it down on your resume.

  • Most Valuable Employee awards

  • Did you save the most amount of money for your organization? Did you increase revenue by the largest amount? Maybe you were the best morale builder or devised the most innovative strategy. Any of these types of awards or honors will make you stand out on your resume.

  • Honors bestowed by civic organizations

  • If you contributed a great deal to your local community or to under-represented groups and was recognized for your hard work then honors bestowed by civic organizations should be written on your resume. They are not given out lightly and stand out incredibly.

  • Military commendations

  • Some veterans believe that they shouldn’t write their military commendations on their resume but this is not the case. Your military commendations should be written like any other awards and honors. You can learn more about writing your resume by viewing this military resume writing tips with resume samples. An employer should be able to discern from your commendations the type of skills you have learned and how you used those skills to the best of your abilities.

If you only have 1-2 awards

If you only have 1-2 awards you should look to reorganize them into their respective categories. A single item can look sparse on its own, diminishing its impact. It also wastes valuable page real estate and can be distracting (as readers we are naturally drawn to areas of white space).

So, for example, if you won a scholastic award you might consider weaving that under your education or qualifications summary section or if you won sales awards then placing them under your relevant sales position in your professional experience section will suffice.

If you are still a student or have recently graduated but are still lost in the big world of careers and employment then you should read our guide on how to write a resume with no work experience. Take your time and you will get to where you want to get to.

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