Training & Certifications

What area of your resume is better to display all of your training and certifications than here?

Before you begin, it’s important to keep in mind that many career fields require specific certifications prior to applying for the job. Some employers will hire you without a certification and then send you to training to obtain it. This is the case with many government employers, but not most private sector employers.

However, if you don’t have a certification, or training that an employer requires before they can hire you, then you may not get the second look that you need for an interview. You can usually reduce your job hunt frustrations greatly by meeting their needs before you fill out the application.

Read any job announcement carefully to be sure you qualify fully for the position. 

You can always begin this section by making an exhaustive list of all the training you’ve had over your career. For those who lack work experience, (for any number of reasons) you can start with including high school, college, vocational, or any on-the-job training that you have participated in (for example, if your employer sent you to a computer class.) Then you can evaluate each item for its applicability. If you have any volunteer experience, you can also list any training you received there as well, as long as it is applicable to the job you are applying for.

Training and certifications are usually listed in hierarchical order and in relevance to the job you are applying for. Many types of training and certifications come with some an acronym, so here are a few “rule of thumb” things you should know about using them:

  1. Spell out any abbreviations the first time they appear on your resume. Then put the acronym in parenthesis.
  2. If a certification has expired, it is no longer a valid certification. Be up front about this, and if having the certification current is necessary for the job, do what it takes to get current.
  3. If you received a certificate for a training class, and its relevant to the job, include it. If not, leave it out.

This short video shows the very basic layout…

And the next video demonstrates adding a certification with an acronym…

And last, but not least, adding a certification that requires a recert…

Employers will look for proof that you are qualified.

Is it possible to change career fields, even after twenty years in the same one? Absolutely! Many people change their field, based on their personal growth through this crazy thing we call life. If you are changing career fields, then expect a lower level position until you get your feet on the ground. Over time, gain the new certifications and training that you need to excel in that new field.

Next we will move to the optional Hobbies section