You've completed that extra training — don't be afraid to show it off!
Job-hunting can be a challenge. If you want to land that all-important interview, the key is creating an application that turns recruiters' heads. Luckily, one way to do just that is to list certifications on your CV. If you've spent time getting additional training, don't let your blood, sweat, and tears go to waste! You need to let hiring managers know about it.
Ready to get started? Showing off the training that you have under your belt doesn't have to be hard. There is a clear way to list and describe these certificates on your CV. Within this guide, we will take you through certifications on your CV: how to list them and why.
Why should you include certifications on your CV?
First things first, let's talk about why you need to include certifications on your CV. Over your working life, you may have had many chances to gain extra training. That's good news for both you and a potential employer. It shows that you are dedicated to your own professional advancement. Including these on an application serves multiple purposes.
Before we talk about how you should list certifications on your CV, let's take a look at why you're doing so. Aside from strengthening your application, this move does the following:
Set yourself apart from other candidates
You need to stand out from the crowd. Only 2% of candidates who apply for a role are asked to a formal interview. Chances are, you're up against a bunch of people who have similar skills, experiences, and education as you do. For that reason, you need to do everything that you can to set yourself apart from the competition.
One of the ways that you can do just that is to list your certifications on your CV. When a hiring manager casts their eyes over your application, they will be looking for little gems that will make you an ideal candidate. If you have work-related training that another candidate lacks, it may be the difference between landing that interview and getting rejected.
Support your industry related skill-set
For many careers, you will learn industry-specific skills when you're on the job. While your formal education prepares you for the leap to the working world, there are some talents that can only be honed when you enter the workplace. While you know that you're a dab-hand at your job - and all of the tasks it includes - you need to prove that.
Undergoing extra training and gaining certificates will put you in a great position. It shows that you're a hard worker and someone who is willing to invest in their career. Hiring managers are sure to be impressed by what you have to bring to the table here.
Let's say that you're working in marketing and have slowly climbed the ranks within an agency. Congratulations! Your team already knows that you're a marketing whizz… but you need to prove it if you're looking for a role elsewhere. The fact that you've taken Google Garage's Fundamentals of Digital Marketing certification might just seal the deal. Be sure to list it and shout about it!
Bolster an otherwise lacking CV
Are you looking to break into a new sector? You're likely not alone. A fifth of British workers expect to change roles in 2022. If it's time you switched things up, there are doubtless obstacles you will face. The biggest is your lack of industry experience - especially when you're up against seasoned workers.
Our guide on “certifications on your CV: how to list them” will help you get around this problem. What you lack in experience can be made up for with additional training. Before you start applying, you may want to look at online courses that will give you a base level of knowledge. This move allows you to gain a foundational understanding of the sector.
Once you've completed these certificates, they should take centre stage on your CV. When a hiring manager looks at your application, they will see you have undertaken field-related training off your own back. That is positive, as it shows that you are 100% serious about this newfound career path - it's not just a fleeting fancy.
Give interviewers a talking point
Sure, when you attend a job interview, you can expect the same old interview questions. That's normal and you can easily prepare for them. However, you also want to give the interviewer more topics to cover. If you have undertaken extra certificates, that will most certainly be a talking point when you make it to the interview stage of the process.
The interviewer may ask you to expand on the modules you studied or what you learnt during the training. With that in mind, if you do choose to list certifications on your CV, you should prepare your interview answers accordingly. You won't need to go into minute detail about the training on the CV, however, you can expand on it when you meet them.
Certifications on your CV: how to list them
Now that you understand the importance of listing certifications on your CV, let's get practical about it. When listing your certificate in your education section or a dedicated professional development section, you need to give a full breakdown of the qualification. Be sure to include the following elements:
Organisation name/awarding body
The year you achieved the certificate
The year that the qualification expires (if applicable)
Summary of the certification (optional)
The last part of the listing gives you the opportunity to expand on the certification ins and outs. What modules did you cover in the qualification? What essays did you complete? Was the qualification completely online - i.e. remote - or did you do on-site training?
Be as specific as you can here. Most CVs should be compact to one or two pages. If you're stuck for space, you can always bullet-point this section. Just figure out what works best for you.
Examples of how to list certifications on your CV
First you need to know where to place the certifications. Typically, you should include your certifications as part of your education section or within a dedicated certification section. You could also include it in your profile or your employment section. For example, if you gained the training while with a certain company, you can list it within that job position.
Mentioning your certificates in the profile of your CV is a swift way to catch a recruiter's eye. Since this is the first thing that a hiring manager will read, it's a good chance for you to set yourself apart from the crowd. This works particularly well if you're looking to change careers. Take a look at our example here.
AMA Professional Certified Marketer with 10+ years of experience in a mid-size agency. Previously worked on advertising campaigns for a national sportswear company leading to a 31% increase in sales in the last quarter. Additional industry training in both Google Analytics and Hubspot.
Education or professional development example
Should you choose to list your certificates in your education section or a professional development section, you can afford to go into more detail if necessary. As we previously mentioned, you might want to add in a few lines about the course itself and what you learnt. See our example for help.
Advanced Google Analytics, Google Analytics Academy, 2019
Building upon the standard Google Analytics qualification, this advanced course included data segmentation, custom reporting, dynamic remarketing, event tracking, and how to analyse data by audience or channel.
Employment section example
Did you complete your certificate while working for an employer? If your training was part of an existing role, you can include it in your employment section. Keep in mind that you won't have the space to go into detail about this qualification - you are merely mentioning it. See our example for inspiration.
Marketing Executive, Agency Number Five
Sep 2017 - Mar 2020
When you're searching for a new job, you need to use everything in your arsenal to get hired. This guide on “certifications on your CV: how to list them” should have given you the right starting point for this journey. Adding these qualifications to your application will give you a better chance of landing the next interview. Get started now!
Ready to take your career to the next level? If you're currently looking for a new job, give yourself the competitive edge by having your CV reviewed by a professional. At TopCV, we take the hassle out of creating interview-winning CVs. Taking this step could help you to get noticed by hiring managers, land interviews, and get hired.
- How to list publications on a CV (with example)