Resume Awards & Achievements: How to List in 2020

Writing an impressive resume in 2020 April 21, 2020 · 3 min read

Why are honors and awards on a resume important?

Good question...

When you’re recognized with an award or an honor from your school for educational performance, or your job for exceptional achievements you should highlight that; it’s an impressive accomplishment to shout about.

Stay on point and keep the details relevant…

When showing off the things you’ve accomplished on your resume, be sure that they have a clear link to the job that you’re applying for.

Whether relevant to the industry you’ll be working in or the soft skills the employer wants, make sure everything you write matches the job you want.

You’ve got plenty of awards to be proud of, but where do they belong on your resume?

Once you’ve established that an Honors and Awards section is going to add sparkle to your resume, you need to make sure you create a dedicated resume section so you can really make what you’ve achieved stand out.

Don’t forget…

You can take advantage of the other sections in your resume too!

Everything that goes into your resume should be highlighting your achievements; it’s not just for one special section. In your work history, education, and hobbies you should be sure to write about all the great things you’ve done.

When you create the Honors and Awards sections of your resume, you can include:

  • Academic scholarships
  • Awards and honor societies (for example: military awards, scientific, social activities, etc.)
  • Earning a promotion to leadership at work
  • Qualifications awarded
  • Any other relevant professional awards

That you’ve picked up throughout your school and work careers.

To get you on your way, here are some examples of honors and awards for a resume.

For achievements in your professional capacity:

  • Won Hermes Creative Award 2017 Gold level for a 3D exhibition at World Expo promoting environmental action, against an international shortlist of seven other competitors
  • Earning a promotion at work in 2019 for receiving 98% positive customer survey results

Talking about what you achieved at school:

  • Attained a 3.8 GPA. Recognized as Humanitarian of the Year in 2015 at University College, WA
  • Awarded the 2019 National High School Volunteering Award for Raising $150000 for FutureKids Charity

Now you know what a bullet for the section can look like, here are some guidelines for how to write honors and awards in a resume:

  • Include the award’s title and what level you were awarded at, such as the school, state, or country, if it was international or based on your industry, for example
  • Keep your language active, using verbs that are powerful and impressive, such as, “Achieved promotion at…”, “Earned…”, “Recognized for…”, “Selected as…”
  • Give your awards and honors some solid context. Details like how many people you were up against, what you got out of it, what level you were honored at, will all add to the impressive accolade you write about

The main takeaway from this is that in a competitive job market, it’s important that you highlight all the great stuff you’ve done, even if it means going back to your school days to talk about your honors, accomplishments, and awards.

Pro-Tip
No awards to include? No worries. Plenty of people haven’t got anything to list and they’ve built great careers after getting hired. Yes, awards are useful, but if you’ve been successful in your school- and work-life and can demonstrate that in your resume you don’t have to stress!

Everything on your resume should be relevant to the role you’re hoping to land. Target all the awards and honors you include to back up the claims that you’re making through your resume.