A close-up of a person holding a resume with both hands, pointing at awards section. The person has red-painted nails. The background includes a wooden table with a tablet displaying another document.

Ever since you got that trophy for winning the 50-yard dash in elementary school, you’ve understood that winning awards feels good and builds clout. In the workforce, awards recognize your work-related accomplishments and professional prowess. But do awards belong on your resume? Read on to find out. 

Should you list awards on your resume?

Yes, you can and should list awards on your resume. There are a few important criteria an award should meet in order to make the cut, which we’ll get to in a moment. But first, it helps to understand how adding awards and recognitions to your resume can bolster your chances of getting a job. 

Demonstrates experience 

Receiving an award for something shows that you have a successful track record with that skill set, whether it’s baking pies or building houses. Including such recognitions on your resume can help you stand out from other applicants who merely cite a list of skills.

Promotes credibility

One of the biggest problems hiring managers face is verifying the accuracy of a candidate’s resume. We’re not just talking about fabricating credentials (although that happens, too). The fact is that most people just aren’t a very good judge of their own capabilities. Awards show that an objective third party has vouched for you. It’s kind of like when you see a product with hundreds of five-star reviews online; you feel a lot more confident buying it than if you were relying on their website’s claims alone. 

Quantifies achievements

Hiring managers love seeing quantifiable examples of candidates’ achievements, like stats and percentages. An award is one such example that demonstrates “proof” of your performance and the types of results you’re able to achieve. 

When to list awards on your resume

What you DON’T want to do is list every award you’ve ever won. To come across as professional and polished, make sure the following criteria apply before listing an award on your resume.

It’s relevant to the job

When you list an award on your resume, it should be obvious how it relates to the job you’re applying for. It should be indicative of a particular skill, area of expertise, or key accomplishment that’s tied to the work you’d be performing in the role. 

It’s recent

If you’re a decade into your career, an achievement from your college days most likely doesn’t belong on your resume. A good rule of thumb is that the more prestigious an award is, the longer you can leave it on. If you’re awarded the Pulitzer Prize or a Michelin Star, by all means, keep it on your resume forever!

It’s from a recognized organization

You want to be sure the award you’re showcasing is legitimate, so it should be from an easily vetted organization. Some examples are your company, a university, a professional group, or a trusted publication. 

You’re an entry-level job seeker

When you’re just starting out in your career, you don’t have a lot of relevant work experience. This means you have more leeway to use awards to demonstrate your skills and professionalism. While recognition like making the dean’s list or receiving a sought-after grant might not be directly related to the job you want, they’re evidence that you’re trustworthy and conscientious, which are desirable early-career qualities. 

Examples of awards to list on a resume

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should give you an idea of the types of awards hiring managers will be impressed by.

  • Performance awards like salesperson of the month/quarter/year
  • Industry- and region-specific lists like ‘40 under 40’ or ‘ones to watch’
  • Profession-specific awards like Addys or Webbys 
  • Volunteering and community awards
  • Noteworthy publications
  • Military honors
  • Eagle Scout or Gold Award
  • Academic honors like Phi Beta Kappa
  • Fellowships, grants and scholarships

How to list awards on your resume

Here are two good ways to list awards on your resume so that they flow naturally.

In a dedicated section

For this method, you’d add a distinct section for ‘Awards’ and format it the same way as the other sections within your resume (Education, Experience, etc.). Here’s an example of a dedicated awards section. 

Awards and Honors

  • Awarded $10,000 McCarthey Dressman grant for continued education on innovative teaching strategies
  • Selected as one of four finalists for Charlotte County’s 2022 ‘Teacher of the Year’ award
  • Recipient of Boys and Girls Club GIVE award for completing more than 500 hours of service 

As part of your experience section

The other option is to list awards with the job they pertain to. In this method, you would add the award or recognition as one of the bullet points under the position title, like this:

Business Development Representative, Turner Construction. 2021 to present

  • Spearheaded digital lead generation campaign that increased new leads by 34% 
  • Developed a series of three compelling case studies for presentation to prospective clients
  • Named ‘Most Valuable Team Member’ of 2023 for bringing in $2M in new business

This same strategy can also be applied to your education section when listing academic awards like this:

Bachelor of Arts in Marketing, University of Virginia

  • Dean’s List 2020-2023
  • Recipient of the 2022 President’s Award for students demonstrating exceptional leadership capabilities

Looking for a professional resume writing service to do the heavy lifting? We suggest using BeamJobs!

What to include when listing awards on your resume

Remember who you’re writing it for when listing awards on your resume. A hiring manager might not know the ins and outs of a particular grant program, for example, or know your industry’s most coveted awards as well as you do. 

What’s more, it’s likely that your application will first be screened by an automated system that relies on keywords and other clues to filter applicants. This means it’s important to provide the appropriate context for your awards. Some of the most relevant information includes:

  • The name of the award
  • The year, if it’s an award given on an annual basis (the quarter or month works, too)
  • The awarding organization. If it’s not a company or official group, explain who made the decision, like if it was a committee of your peers or voted upon by a select group
  • What the award recognizes–leadership, performance, dedication, etc. 
  • Any specific supporting details for why you were chosen, like surpassing a certain sales milestone or putting in an impressive number of hours of work
  • Any other impressive details. If the award is prestigious enough, simply being nominated may be worthwhile to include on your resume

Be cautious with awards that could incite unwanted bias, like recognitions from religious groups or political associations. If you still want to include the award, you could do so without naming the specific organization or use an alternate term like ‘community activist group’ instead of naming a political party. 

Perfecting your resume means doing everything in your power to showcase your capabilities and demonstrate that you’re a well-rounded candidate. Awards are just one more way to strengthen your application and convince a hiring manager that you’d be a great fit for the job.

Looking for more help crafting the perfect resume? We have an entire library of resume samples and recommendations!

Home / Career Advice / Resume Advice / How to List Awards on a Resume (With Examples)
Pete Newsome headshot


Pete Newsome is the founder of zengig, which he created after more than two decades in staffing and recruiting. He’s also President of 4 Corner Resources, the Forbes America's Best Staffing and Recruiting Firm he founded in 2005, and is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance. In addition to his passion for staffing, Pete is now committed to zengig becoming the most comprehensive source of expert advice, tools, and resources for career growth and happiness. When he’s not in the office or spending time with his family of six, you can find Pete sharing his career knowledge and expertise through public speaking, writing, and as the host of the Finding Career Zen & Hire Calling podcasts. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn