How to List Achievements and Awards on a Resume (4 Steps)

Updated 26 June 2023

Achievements and awards can establish an individual's suitability for a job or demonstrate their experience, education and skills. Awards can be valuable details to add to a resume. Knowing which ones to include and where to include them can help you create an impressive resume that demonstrates your abilities to hiring managers.

In this article, we explain the benefits of listing achievements and awards on a resume, share the steps to take to list them, describe awards you can list, provide examples to follow and offer tips to improve your resume.

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What are awards on a resume?

During your career, you may receive awards and other accolades from industry leaders, associations or organisations based on your skills, efforts or experience. You can include these as awards on a resume. Listing these helps show potential employers that leaders and industry peers recognise your achievements and may set your resume apart from others. It can also demonstrate noteworthy experience or innovative practices in your career and your soft skills. If you lack practical experience or education, awards can show that you can succeed in a role despite your resume's gaps.

Related: How to Include Personal Details in a Resume (With Tips)

How to list awards and achievements on your resume

When listing awards or achievements, following the steps below can help you create a comprehensive resume:

1. Select the right section

The first step to including an award or achievement on your resume is adding it in an appropriate section. You can list workplace or academic awards under your experience or education sections using bullet points. For multiple awards that don't fall under the above categories, you can create a dedicated award section at the end of your resume and list them there. Mention any significant or prestigious awards or achievements in your resume summary to encourage a potential employer to consider them.

2. Include identifying information

When mentioning any award or achievement, it's important to include identifying information. This includes the award name, when you received it, how often the institution awards it and who gave it to you. It's a good idea to include details to contextualise an award. For example, the person receiving your resume could be a recruiter or hiring manager without in-depth knowledge of the award. You could also mention the nature of the organisation that gave you the award or recognised your efforts.

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3. Explain its scope and reason

If an award or achievement is challenging to attain or rare, you can mention this under the award's description. Consider the award's scope, including how many people applied for it and how strict the selection criteria were. You could also mention the reason for the award. This is especially important if you gained it due to a particular trait or quality. When detailing your award, it helps to include numbers or statistics and to use action verbs. This can help illustrate what you achieved or why you received an award.

4. Outline its impact

Your award and achievement can have lasting repercussions on your career and the affected community. Outlining its impact can show others that your actions in gaining the award had lasting value. This can be valuable when mentioning a civic award or project that was originally intended to have a limited lifespan but evolved into something longer lasting or ongoing.

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Types of achievements and awards to list on your resume

Including the following awards and achievements on your resume keeps it relevant and compelling:

  • Academic achievements: When including academic awards and achievements, limit this to the education you've completed that prepared you for your current and future roles. This might include scholarships and fellowships you've won or any research or project grant you've received.

  • Workplace awards: Include any awards you've received while working in your current industry. This might include leadership or mentorship awards, performance achievements and nominations for employee of the month.

  • Industry awards: Industry awards indicate that those in the same field as you but outside the company have recognised your achievements. This might include professional association awards or profiles written about you or your work in industry publications.

  • Civic awards: You might win civic awards when you've worked in community service or volunteered in any capacity. This could include awards that recognise your contribution to society or positive impact on the world.

  • Personal achievements: You can win awards and achieve outcomes in areas of personal interest, including the arts, culture, athletics, leadership or the military. These awards can show that you've cultivated certain personality traits or qualities that can benefit you at work.

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Examples of resume awards and achievements

Here are some examples of what different awards and achievements might look like on your resume:

Educational achievements

Here's an example of an educational award a person might win and how it could appear on a resume:

Winner of the Rockingham Children's Services Early Childhood Development Teaching Prize, 2022
University of Rockingham, Rockingham, Queensland

This award recognises student teachers who support the professional development of early childhood development students in alignment with Rockingham Children's Services.

The University of Rockingham only presents this award to one student out of 1,000 accepted candidates.

Related: Education Resume Types (With Templates and Examples)

Workplace awards

You can use the example below to guide you in listing your workplace achievements:

Junior Sales Assistant, May 2009–July 2014
King Kong Mobile Phone Sales, Fleurieu Peninsula

  • Junior Salesperson of the Year for 2009

  • Junior Salesperson of the Year for 2010

Industry awards

The example below shows you how you can include industry-wide recognitions on your resume:

In-house Legal Counsel, Aug 2010–Sept 2015
Reties Lawyers, Gascoyne

Winner of West Australia's In-House Lawyer of the Year for 2013

Winner of West Australia's Rising Star of the Year: In-house for 2013

Civic awards

Any awards or achievements relating to non-profit or volunteer work can take the following format on your resume:

Volunteer Manager, Feb 2010–March 2012
Clean Up Gunning, Gascoyne
Volunteer of the Year Award, 2011

  • I helped create and oversee a community clean-up initiative for public spaces in the Gunning area.

  • I campaigned for business funding that helped pay for three transport vehicles to canvass and clean the area.

  • I drafted a proposal recommending the installation of permanent recycling stations and bins around littering hotspots in Gunning. The proposal was successful, and the bins and stations are still in use today.

Personal achievements

List personal awards if they're significant or add content to your resume:

Winner of the Artist of the Year for 2022 in Portraiture
Brunswick Heads Art Association

Finalist for Artist of the Year for 2021 in Portraiture
Brunswick Heads Art Association

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Tips for listing awards and achievements on your resume

You can use the following tips to improve your resume's quality when adding your awards and achievements:

  • Include a portfolio. If you show your award or achievement using documents or other forms of proof, consider including a portfolio on your resume. This could include images of a successfully completed project or a pie chart or bar graph to show your progress.

  • Check your spelling. The names of specific awards or achievements might contain a unique spelling of certain words or terms. Reading through your efforts to check your spelling is helpful as it ensures you detect errors that a spell-checking program doesn't identify.

  • Keep it short. To encourage those receiving your resume to read it from beginning to end, it can help to keep your resume short, at no longer than two pages. Review your awards and achievements to ensure you only list the most relevant ones.

  • Print hard copies. It's beneficial to print out hard copies of your completed resume when preparing for an interview. Taking these copies with you when you attend interviews can show recruiters or hiring managers you're ready for the interview and can give last-minute attendees a chance to read your resume.

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