How To List Certifications on a CV: Template and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 November 2021

By detailing your certifications on a CV, you can prove to prospective employers that you're an intelligent and hard-working individual. This might help you seem more attractive relative to rival candidates, increasing your chances of finding a job. If a job description specifies a certain level of education, you can prove you're suitably qualified by listing your certifications. In this article, we discuss how to list certifications on a CV, explain why they're important to list and provide examples of how to include them on a CV.

How to list certifications on CV

Certifications are formal documents you acquire upon completing an accredited course or study programme. You might list your certifications on your CV to prove you're sufficiently qualified to perform a particular task. Once you have a list of your certifications, present them clearly on your CV. If a job description calls for a specific qualification, put this below your introductory paragraph. This allows employers to scan your CV quickly to see if you meet the role requirements and progress your application to the next stage. If you aren't sure how to list certifications on a CV, consider these steps:

  1. certification title

  2. certifying organisation name, month and year issued

  3. expiration or renewal date

  4. summary

When studying for certifications, you may find the course content has a specific subject focus. This course ensures you possess the technical knowledge to work in that industry. By earning certifications in your free time, you show employers you're willing to work hard to progress your career. Examples of these certifications might include:

  • Associate Chartered Banker Diploma: Regulated by the Chartered Banker Institute, this certification assesses your knowledge of banking theories.

  • ACA Qualification: This course assesses your knowledge of banking practices, such as compliance and taxation, under the oversight of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Related: What You Need To Know About Professional Qualifications

Why it's important to include certifications on a CV

You might include certifications on your CV to prove to employers that you're a capable person deserving of a chance to progress in their career. It's helpful to emphasise your certifications that directly relate to the industry you're pursuing. Furthermore, you may use your certifications to build a positive narrative about yourself, to convince employers you're worth considering for a job. The list below details several reasons to include certifications on a CV:

Prove your skills

You can use a list of certifications to explain how you developed your current skills. By establishing a narrative of yourself as someone willing to work hard to progress, you can demonstrate your suitability. You might detail how certain aspects of your studies, such as coursework or group projects, helped you grow as an individual. You can then write about how you might transfer this personal growth to a professional environment. By showing how your personality fits the post, you might stand out against other candidates.

Compensate for a lack of work experience

If you're applying for entry-level positions, you may have little practical experience working in your preferred industry. Therefore, you can shift focus to your education, discussing the knowledge and skills you've gained up as a result. By showing commitment to personal growth, employers may be more willing to overlook your inexperience. You might then secure your first professional position and start to progress your career.

Related: Writing a CV with No Experience

Improve your interview

By detailing certifications on a CV, you can provide interviewers with sufficient material to start a productive conversation. For example, if you mention that you're qualified to administer first aid, an interviewer may ask why you decided to enrol on that course. You could then respond by emphasising the need to help others, highlighting your empathy and teamwork skills in the process. You may then find it easier to build a rapport with your interviewer, boosting your chances of receiving a formal job offer.

Related: How To Prepare for an Interview

Template and examples

When crafting your certification list, consider the role you're pursuing, your experience, skill set and interests. Knowing which certifications to list and how to list them can help you present a CV that is easy to read and highlight the supplemental work. Here is a general template to help you document your certification and examples of different ways you can list them, depending on varying factors:

[Certification title]
[Organisation name, month and year issued]
[Date of expiration or renewal, if applicable]
[Summary: Here, you might give an overview of your programme of study, such as modules, projects and essays you completed. You might then detail the practical and technical skills you built up during your studies. Finally, you can state how these skills make you an ideal candidate for the job in question.]

Related: CV Template for a Successful Application (With Example)

Complete certification

You may have earned a needed certification before starting to submit job applications. In this scenario, you may find it helpful to discuss how you're a well-rounded individual because of this experience. Below is an example of this situation:

*Chartered Accountant Qualification
UK Chartered Accountants Society, Jan. 2021
Renewal date: Jan. 2022
Summary:* During this course, I completed various examined modules on core aspects of chartered accountancy practice, such as regulatory compliance and taxation. Resultantly, I built up the deep technical knowledge of the industry necessary to thrive in this role. Moreover, I feel that the 450-day work placement period enabled me to develop practical skills relevant to working in a collaborative office environment, such as good communication and time management. I feel that thanks to these experiences, I'm well-suited to this post.

Related: How to Become a Chartered Accountant

Certification in-progress

If you're in the process of gaining certification, you might submit job applications in advance to get ahead of rival students. This considered you might adapt the above template to your circumstances, mentioning the skills you're currently building up alongside those you already possess. The template below can help in this situation:

Chartered Engineer (CEng) (in progress)
Engineering UK
Expected date of completion: Jan 2022
Summary: To become a qualified chartered engineer, I'm currently collating details of my professional record in the industry, such as work experience and prior qualifications. I can then submit this information to the Engineering Council for assessment. During this process, I've continued to develop both my technical and practical skills, using my experiences to reaffirm my existing knowledge and work on areas of weakness. My accreditation reflects my discipline and hard-working approach, which would make me well-suited to this position.

Certification from a different industry

If you're changing your industry, you may possess certifications that seem irrelevant to your new career trajectory. You can mention these within your CV, but with less emphasis than other issues. By listing these certifications, you can show employers you possess a broad base of skills. The example below is for this situation:

Recruitment Certification
UK Recruitment Society, Jan 2010
Summary: Though not directly relevant to nursing, my recruitment certification sets me up to thrive when working in A&E. During my course, I built up skills necessary to assess and manage potential recruits, such as learning admin processes and decision-making. Memorising technical language and working under pressure are also core elements of nursing practice. I can transfer my existing skills to this role without losing the energy and purpose that motivated me before.

Related: How To Change Careers

Other certifications

You might find it useful to mention any certification you hold in a health and safety subject, such as first aid or fire safety. If you can deal with medical emergencies, employers may view you as a responsible individual committed to the welfare of others. The below example reflects such a scenario:

Fire Marshal Certification
Health and Safety UK, May 2021
Expiry date: May 2024
Summary: A few months ago, I completed a half-day fire safety course. I know about current fire safety guidelines, including how to use firefighting equipment and identify hazards. This experience taught me to be calm under pressure, both in emergencies and in day-to-day life. I have also become more aware of my responsibilities to colleagues, alongside actions I can take to uphold workplace safety. I would reflect this sense of duty while working for this company.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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