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How to list awards and qualifications on your resume

Published May 20, 2024| minute read
Hadiya Iqbal

Senior Associate, JPMorgan Chase

    From making it on the dean’s list to being Salesperson of the Year, highlighting notable distinctions on your resume is a great way to stand out. After all, hiring managers are looking for the best possible candidates and are eager to hire high-achieving individuals that go above and beyond.

    But what awards should you include on your resume? And how do you explain the awards in a way that will stand out to hiring managers? Here are some tips when it comes to including your achievements and awards on your resume.

    What are the types of awards to include on a resume

    Many different kinds of awards stand out to hiring managers. Even those you received in high school or college can make an impact when it comes to getting a job. Here are some of the more popular types of awards to consider listing on your resume:

    Academic awards

    • Academic achievements: AP Scholar Award, the National Merit® Scholarship Program, dean’s list
    • Scholarships
    • Research or project grants
    • Honor societies
    • Departmental awards
    • University-based awards

    Professional awards

    • Performance-based awards
    • Employee awards
    • Leadership and mentorship awards
    • Peer awards

    Miscellaneous awards

    • Professional association awards
    • Arts and culture awards
    • Community service awards

    What information should I include about awards on a resume

    Deciding what information to include about your awards on your resume depends on the specific award. For example, most people have some idea about the qualifying criteria for more prominent academic awards like the dean’s list and the Rhodes Scholarship. However, they may not know what qualifies you for Employee of the Month or Salesperson of the Year at a particular job. This is why it’s important to include some basic information when you have awards on your resume.

    Some basic information to include:

    • Award name
    • Date awarded
    • Who presented you with the award: Company, university, organization, etc.
    • Purpose of award: Explain why the award is given out and what it recognizes
    • How competitive is the award? Share the pool of participants you were chosen from
    • Your qualifications for the award: Why they gave it to you, what goals you met, etc.

    How to explain the importance of your award on a resume

    Explaining the importance of an award succinctly on a resume isn’t easy. Like listing accomplishments from a job on a resume, utilize action words and get specific about your achievements that led to you receiving the award. For example, if you got Salesperson of the Year for beating sales goals by 20% at your last job, that’s worth including.

    Know where to include your awards on your resume

    There’re a few different areas to include awards on your resume potentially.

    Under experience or education

    You can put the awards in your education and experience sections under the company, organization, or college or university that awarded it. Putting your awards here can help tie your work responsibilities or educational achievements together all in one place.

    Here’s an example of what an award might look like under the education section:

    Bachelor of Arts in Communication | University of South Carolina

    Graduation: Spring 2020

    Dean’s List, Spring 2018–Fall 2019

    Dedicated award section

    If you’d prefer to put all your awards in one place, you can create an “Awards” section on your resume. Under this section, list all the awards that you want to highlight. Below is an example of what an awards section might look like on your resume.


    Dean’s List, Spring 2018–Fall 2019

    Outstanding Employee Achievement Award, Cali Company, Los Angeles, CA

    • Awarded to one employee each quarter out of 250+ company employees
    • Recognized for my role as head of employee recognition programs and community service development in the Los Angeles office
    • Developed operational procedures saving the company $250k annually in operating expenses, launched partnership opportunities, and assisted with office redesign

    Final thoughts

    Including awards on your resume is an excellent way to stand out from the thousands of applicants you may be up against. Whether academic or professional, showcasing your ability to make an impact and create change can put you ahead of resumes without those achievements.