Exactly When, Where, and How to List Certifications on Your Resume (Because You’ve Earned Them)
By | Regina Borsellino | www.themuse.com
As you write your resume, many of the things you need to include may have an obvious place: Your past jobs go in your work experience section, your education goes in your education section, and your skills go in your skills section. But what about certifications? They’re not quite experience or education, but they can be just as—if not more—important to you landing your next job.
We’ll tell you exactly when to include certifications on your resume and how, but first…
A certification is a standardized professional credential—that is, everyone with a certification must meet the same requirements—issued by professional associations, organizations, or companies. You often need to pass exams and may need to meet certain education and experience requirements to obtain one. For example, a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is issued by the Product Management Institute, and in order to receive it you must have a minimum number of months of experience leading projects, complete a minimum number of hours of project management training or a lower-level certification from PMI, and pass the PMP exam.
A certification that checks all of these boxes but is issued by a government or regulatory body and/or is legally required in order to do a certain job is called a license, says Heather Yurovsky, Muse career coach and founder of Shatter & Shine. For example, to legally practice as a nurse in New York State you must have a NYS nursing license, which requires completing an approved nursing degree, undergoing background checks, and passing the NCLEX exam. Teachers, doctors, social workers and other mental health professionals, accountants, and lawyers are also among the professionals who often need licenses to practice. Licenses are also more likely to require ongoing education and training to stay current in your field and can expire if you don’t keep them current, Yurovsky says.