Guide: How to Include CV Awards and Where to Place Them

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

One way to help attract a hiring manager's attention when applying for jobs is to include awards on your CV. Including awards and achievements on your resume can demonstrate your ability to deliver results for an employer. If you want to add awards to your resume, it's important to know the sections to put them and the types to include on your job application documents to increase your chances of employment. In this article, we discuss CV awards, the types, where to put them for maximum impact and how to use them to position you as a strong candidate to employers.

What are CV awards?

CV awards are honours you received in the past that you can include on your resume to improve your chances of getting a job. You can include awards that highlight your academic excellence or professional achievements. You can also include awards from previous roles, industry and any other honours that emphasise your ability to provide desired outcomes if hired for a specific role.

Types of awards to include on your resume

Here are examples of awards you can add to your resume:

Educational awards

These are honours that describe your academic achievements. Besides showing your ability to learn and master a variety of subjects, these awards can also emphasise your soft skills, including research, memory, technical proficiencies and time management. Education-related awards are suitable for fresh graduates and people with little or no experience. They can help boost your CV and make it more impressive to hiring managers. Here are examples of education awards:

  • University awards

  • Scholarships

  • Honours societies

  • Fellowships

  • Departmental awards

  • Academic programmes

  • Impressive CGPA

  • Outstanding research work

  • Honour roll

Related: How to Write Education on a CV (With Tips and Examples)

Company awards

These are awards given to you at work in recognition of your commitment to excellence or outstanding contribution to the achievement of organisational objectives. Examples of company awards include:

  • Employee of the month

  • Leadership award

  • Performance awards, such as Marketer of the Year

  • Peer awards

Professional awards

These are awards given from outside your office. They can come from a professional association, such as an award from the local engineering association. A media organisation or professional review agency that ranks the impact of certain individuals in some industries can also recognise you. For example, you can be in the top 20 criminal lawyers in your area or city. You can include these awards in your resume if you have extensive work experience.

You can consider including an award in your resume if they are relevant to the job you're applying to and can increase your chances of getting employed. You can include awards from arts and cultural contests, sports, community service, volunteering, leadership and the military on your resume. Make sure any award you include demonstrates the use of specific skills, competencies or personality traits relevant to the employer.

Where to add your awards on a resume

There are three primary sections to include your CV awards, including:

Education section

Consider including your awards in your education section if you're a fresh graduate or someone with low or zero work experience. Since many employers want to see experience to evaluate a candidate's fit for the role, it can be difficult to find relevant work history to include on your CV. As a fresh graduate, you can consider listing your academic achievements relevant to the specific skills and competencies required for each role. That way, you can show hiring managers your ability to deliver results despite a lack of experience.

Experience section

Another place to list awards is in the experience section of your CV. You can do this if you've previously worked in a similar role. Add your awards as a bullet list so that the reader can see all of them quickly.

Related: How to Write Work Experience on a CV (With Examples)

Dedicated awards section

You can also create a separate awards section if you have several accomplishments and recognitions relevant to a job posting. People also create a distinct section if their achievements don't apply to either their education or work history. You can use this method if you won a prestigious recognition in your industry and want it to stand out from other entries on your CV. The awards or achievement section typically comes after other important segments of the resume, so consider placing it towards the end of your resume.

Related: How to Write Achievements in a CV in 4 Steps (Plus Examples)

How to include awards on your CV

Follow these steps to include awards on your CV:

1. Include it under the right CV section

When adding awards to your CV ensure to place them under relevant sections of your CV. Academic awards and educational achievements can go under the education section. Place professional awards and industry recognitions under the experience section. If you have awards that don't tie to your previous work or academic performance, create a distinct awards or achievement section to draw the hiring manager's attention to the honours.

2. Add only relevant awards

Before including any award on your resume, consider how it can influence your chances of getting hired. Include only awards relevant to the job for which you're applying. An ideal award entry highlights your expertise or proficiency in a certain skill and demonstrates your suitability for an employer's role.

3. Quantify your achievements

It's not enough to just list awards. To create a better impression, quantify the excellence of the award and the efforts you put in to get the recognition. For example, if you made a top 50 list of high achievers in your industry, consider mentioning the number of nominees who competed against you. Doing this gives the award more weight and positions you as a valuable and strong candidate for the role.

4. Include the award title, date, scope and purpose

Consider including all the details of each award when adding them to your CV, such as the official title and level of recognition. Mention whether it's a city-specific, national, international or industry award and state the date you received it. Describe the purpose of the award and the professional, educational or civic achievements it honours.

5. Describe awards with action verbs

When describing your awards and professional accomplishments, use action-oriented verbs to add power to the words. For example, you can begin each entry with words like awarded, recognised, honoured, achieved and other related terms. Using action verbs can give your awards more emphasis and make it easier for the reader to visualise you transferring them to their own role.

6. Outline the impact of the award

You want to describe the real-life effects of your achievements so that employers can better appreciate them. One way to do this is to include figures in your award descriptions. For example, you can explain how your leadership qualities led to the timely completion of a multi-billion dollar merger and acquisition, which earned a record $100 million in commissions. The company awarded you Employer of the year in recognition of your work.

Examples of listing awards on your CV

Here are ways to add awards in different sections of your CV:

Listing awards under the education section

Here is what award entries can look like under the education section:

Education

Bachelor's in Computer Science and Engineering
The University of Hong Kong, 2015-2019
Dean's List
Best Final Year Project

Listing awards under work experience

Here is how to list your awards under the work experience section of your CV:

Experience

Technical Director, Mechanical Engineering Department
Tyrone Hydrology, 04/2013-04/2019

  • Supervised 22 engineers during the design and execution of 21 medium hydrological engineering projects

  • Used advanced software tools to design propulsion systems used in fast attack boats for a foreign client

  • Created a new workflow management system that improved productivity by 45% over 8 months

  • Trained and onboarded 65 junior engineers within five years

Three-time Employee of the Year
Award of Excellence in Project Management, December 2017

Listing awards in a dedicated section

Here is how to list your awards and achievements in a dedicated awards section of a CV:

Achievements

Top 20 Young Automotive Engineers to follow in 2020
Made the list of top 20 young automotive engineers to follow in 2020 out of 2000 nominees in recognition of my contribution to the development of a simple and affordable solution to a combusting fuel-cell system.

Rising Star: 50 Most Innovative Tech Professionals of 2018
Recognised by the Association of Mechanical Engineers out of 1200 finalists for my pioneering work in the conceptualisation, design, execution and manufacture of a new solar-powered power train with the potential to revolutionise the automotive industry.

Award of Excellence for Community Service
Honoured with an award of excellence in community service for successfully raising $2 million for a local greening project. The fund helped finance a renovation of the historical waterfront quarters, helping the local council generate an additional $15 million in annual revenue from tourism.

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