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Awards, Strengths, Accomplishments, and Graphs on a Resume

How to include awards on a resume?

You don’t see an awards section on most resumes. The reason is simple: people who receive important awards usually don’t need to send their resumes. However, if you’ve received an award that is highly relevant to your target position, don’t hesitate to include it. Here are some quick tips on how to do it:

  • Use only if it cannot be mentioned as part of your education or employment history. Scholarships can be included under the education summary. Awards you received an award for something you did as a part of your job, include it under employment history. If you were awarded for doing something outside of the usual scope of your work, however, display it proudly in your awards section.
  • Always include a date of recognition. Let an employer know you still have all the skills that earned you the prize.
  • Include the purpose of awards and accomplishment they recognise. For example: Earned Clio Music Award 2016 for Use of Music in the Best Ketchup advertisement campaign.
  • Scope of the award. Was it a regional award? National? Or even international? Be specific.

How to write a strengths section on a resume?

The strengths section is completely optional. After all, your strengths and personality traits should be obvious just from looking at your work history and hard skills. If don’t have enough space to include one more resume section, you can easily skip this one.

Yet, you might still want to include a strengths section to fight off applicant tracking systems, since it can be filled with as many relevant keywords as possible.

  • Start with the job advertisement. Carefully review it and make a list of core skills, knowledge and experiences. You’ll end up with a list of keywords with which you’ll want to populate your resume. See where the list you created overlaps with your own strengths and capabilities. List them on your resume.
  • Go beyond what’s expected. Now try to think of strengths you have but aren’t listed on the job advertisement that will make you a top candidate. The section should still be 75% about strengths from the job advertisement, but with 1 in 4 strengths you can be a bit more aspirational.

How to write an achievement section on a resume?

Another non-compulsory section. Listing your achievements on a resume is always a very effective way of catching employers’ attention. Still, there are better ways to do this than designating an entire section for them.

  • Consider significance. Only list achievements in a separate section if they’re notable enough.
  • Use other sections instead. Your entire resume should be about your achievements, not only one of its sections. Always try to include achievements together with your work history, education, or even hobbies.
  • Always quantify. A measured achievement is particularly impressive. Be specific when listing your achievements.

How to use graphs on a resume?

Using graphs or infographics on a resume is not a common practice. However, conveying certain type of information through a visually attractive graph can be a great way to make your resume stand out.

  • Graphs are not appropriate for every job. Using visually striking graphs on a resume is only appropriate if you’re applying for a creative position.
  • Only usable with certain types of information. Graphs will find themselves right at home in the skills section on your resume. Use them to depict the most relevant skills for your target position that you're the best at. For example, individual computer skills, language skills, or soft skills relevant to the position.
  • Short labels. For each of the graphs on a resume, keep the labels short and action-oriented.

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