Adding your professional designations on your resume

Listing professional designations in the resume can be a simple task for some and a headache for others. It may be difficult for you to differentiate academic qualifications from certifications and not know how to reflect them in your CV.

Separating these qualifications in your CV will make it easier for recruiters to see your academic qualifications and your professional designations. Doing this can help you get noticed and hired.

It is a reality that many job seekers have the same academic achievements. So, adding your professional designations in a clear, specific manner as uniquely as possible will help prove your worth and commitment to a potential employer.

Professional designations certify that you possess the all skills and knowledge necessary to carry out a specific task and handle a particular job role and that your knowledge has been rigorously proven through a test or practical assessment.

Professional designations, unlike the other skills listed on your resume, are granted by third-party organizations such as institutions, large companies and professional associations.

Don’t confuse professional designations with some random certificates gotten from some training. While some training or achievements may result in a certification because they gave you a certificate with your name printed on it, not all of them really carry weight.

For example, the product training you went through to understand how to use specific software could have led to a certification, but that recognition is not worth much for other employers because they do not use the same software. As with other skills, you should only list certifications on your resume that are relevant to your target job.

To add your professional designations to your resume, here are a few places to consider:

Your Name

This is usually the first section in ​​your resume where you could quickly grab attention and become memorable. That is why it is a good spot to include your most important and relevant professional designation. Don’t go over the top. You don’t need to list every single professional designation you have.

There are professional designations that are relevant to the job, such as the Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). If this is true for you, don’t miss the opportunity to include your professional designation next to your name. This will help the recruiters know immediately that you have the required certification.

Here is how to add your professional designation to your name in a resume:

Jack Potterfield, CPA

Collins Sallyworth, PMP

Email Address

While this is not mandatory, adding your professional designation in your email is an excellent branding strategy. There is no way your recruiters would see your email without immediately having an idea of what you can do. The recruiter will immediately know that you have the relevant professional designation before they read your resume.

Here is an example of this:

Multiple Professional Designations

While one or two professional designations might be listed among other certificates in the Education section, it is even more unique and striking to have a separate section for your professional designations, labeled “Certifications and Training.”

Always explain the initials of each certification first, so that the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and the recruiter may understand what your professional designations mean.

Follow this simple format when listing your professional designations: Certificate Name, Certifying Body, Date of Issuance, and Location (if the certification is state or country-specific. 

They should be listed in this format:

Certified Public Accountant (CPA, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 2013.)

Project Management Professional (PMP), Project Management Institute, 2015.

These are some of the ways to maximize the use of your professional designations in your resume. You can take advantage of it within reason, without going over the board. Remember to stick to only those professional designations that are relevant to each individual job roles. With this, you will stand out.

You may want to read blog post: The proper way to add your professional designations after your name