How to Optimize a CompTIA A+ Resume

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Discover how to organize your CompTIA A+ resume with an appealing layout designed to highlight your CompTIA A+ certification, professional experience, and skills.

[Featured Image] A woman who recently earned certifications works on creating a CompTIA A+ resume.

Information technology (IT) careers remain competitive and in demand. Research published in California-based recruiting company Robert Half’s 2024 Tech Salaries and Hiring Trends reveals that 61 percent of hiring managers surveyed across various industries plan to hire in the year ahead. It also confirms that 90 percent of managers indicate that finding candidates with the right skills remains among their top challenges [1].

Challenges for hiring managers could translate to opportunities for those with the right skills and training. CompTIA A+ ("CompTIA A Plus") offers an excellent gateway to IT careers. This globally recognized certification allows IT professionals to validate problem-solving skills in IT support and demonstrate the IT skills needed for many professions. Suppose you’re applying for a job that asks explicitly for CompTIA A+ certification, or you know having it will boost your chances of an interview. In that case, optimizing your resume to highlight this credential and the associated skills and experience you’ve gathered is essential.

Explore how you can highlight a CompTIA A+ certification on your IT résumé, including where to place it, how to use keywords to your advantage, and how to include skills related to your CompTIA A+ certification.

How to highlight CompTIA A+ on your resume

Placement is essential to ensure you showcase this highly regarded certification, so consider adding it to multiple sections, including the resume headline, summary, and certification section. Doing so is particularly vital if you apply for a job requiring CompTIA A+. Although you can go into more detail in your certification section, including it in your summary and the headline makes it instantly clear you hold this certification.

In addition to including the certificate, think of all the skills and experience you gain from studying for a CompTIA A+ certification. Elaborating on these and spelling out your offer is just as essential.

CompTIA A+ is relevant to many job roles, so it’s critical to frame your certification around the job you are applying for. For example, if it’s the only required certification noted in the job listing, list it prominently with any other certifications listed below. Doing so helps create a more job-specific, tailored CompTIA A+ resume, which can help you stand out.

Using CompTIA A+ keywords

Software troubleshooting, virtualization, cybersecurity, configuring end-user software, completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart (CAPTCHA), and advanced encryption standards (AES)—these are just a few of the CompTIA A+ terms and competencies you may want to consider adding to your resume.

Keywords are a critical part of any resume. Recruiters broadly use applicant tracking systems (ATS) when shortlisting candidates. This software has become a go-to for busy hiring managers to sift through resumes and applications based on relevant keywords. To build a keyword-rich resume, use the job description and essential criteria for the job role you’re applying for. Start with the exact keywords used by the recruiter. If the employer specifically requires a CompTIA A+ certification, express this precisely.

When thinking about keywords, consider the skills you learned during the certification, the language you used, and anything required.

CompTIA A+ keyword examples

The keywords you use in your resume will depend on the job you are applying for, as different jobs will determine how you use the CompTIA A+ skills you learn. In general, examples of CompTIA A+ keywords may include:

  • CompTIA

  • A+

  • CompTIA A+ certified

  • CompTIA A+ Core Series

  • IT support

  • Tech support

  • Algorithm

  • IT support specialist

  • Network administrator

  • Mobile devices

  • Networking

  • Hardware

  • Cloud

  • Troubleshooting

  • Operating system

The importance of a skills section

A skills section is instrumental in any resume, highlighting what you can do and including relevant keywords to make your CompTIA A+ resume ATS-compliant. Think about the skills you learned while studying for your CompTIA A+ exam and the required skills identified for the role you’re applying for. CompTIA A+ certifications apply to many roles, so you’ll find a range of skills specific to the role you’re applying for and the credential. Use both.

Use the job description and essential criteria of the role you’re applying for to identify the fundamental skills you need for the position. Ensure these are included in the skills section. Include a mix of workplace and technical skills, as both are important.

Give certifications their own section

Your certification is integral to optimizing your CompTIA A+ resume and needs highlighting. Include it in your summary and cover it in your skills section. Use a dedicated certifications section where you list your certifications and any relevant details about what you covered.

The certification can be a subsection as part of your education section or separate, but make sure it’s clear and not mixed in with education in general, where it might get lost with a reverse chronological order and less relevant qualifications. Include other relevant certifications in your certification section, along with other professional development courses and workshops.

Key takeaways for selling yourself as a CompTIA A+ expert 

Think of your resume as your personal marketing strategy. If you use it well, you can show potential employers how valuable you are to their organization by showcasing your skills, experience, and qualifications at work and beyond and tailoring these to the role you’re applying for.

CompTIA A+ certification is an industry standard for professionals entering IT careers. Research sponsored by CompTIA and conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that professionals with the CompTIA A+ certification perform at higher levels than those without it. Among those with one year or less of work experience, certified employees possessed 52 percent more domain knowledge than uncertified employees with three years of professional experience [2].

Given this certification's weight, it’s essential to do more than merely list your credentials. You need to apply them to what you’re looking to do. Consider the following tips to get an idea of how to accomplish that.

Show your technical abilities. 

A CompTIA A+ resume is highly technical in nature, given the certification syllabus and the technical roles it can help you prepare for. It’s important to understand that listing your certification doesn’t automatically tell potential employers about your skills. Instead, spell out your technical skills and highlight what you’ve learned by studying CompTIA A+.

Your skills section is an ideal place to highlight your technical skills. You can also include them in your experience section when providing examples of your relevant experiences, achievements, and certifications.

Tailor your resume to the role.

Tailor your resume to each role you apply for rather than sending a generic version of your resume for a batch of jobs. Successful resumes tell the employer why you are ideal for their particular job. To tailor your resume effectively, look at the job description, determine precisely what a recruiter is asking for, and ensure everything in your resume points to this.

As well as tailoring your information, leave out anything that isn’t relevant. It’s tempting to list all your achievements, job roles, and qualifications, but if they don’t align with the job you're applying for, they'll only distract the hiring agent from seeing you as an ideal fit.

Customizing your resume also increases its chances of passing ATS processes, which look for talent that fits the essential job criteria.

Show your abilities outside of the workplace.

Expand your skills, experience, and certifications beyond your professional experience and education. Showcase your abilities and commitment outside the workplace by adding details about your personal projects, self-study, workshops, memberships, volunteer work, and online courses. Extracurricular activities and interests are an excellent way of highlighting your unique skills and experience and showing that you are well-rounded.

Resources for resume building 

On Coursera, you’ll find a range of resources to help you build an effective resume:

Earn a certificate for your CompTIA A+ resume on Coursera.

CompTIA A+ certification is an excellent entry point into an IT career. Getting certified and highlighting it on your IT resume can be valuable and help make you a competitive candidate. If you want to further enhance your CompTIA A+ resume, consider completing additional courses to validate your IT knowledge and skills. For example, on Coursera, you might explore options like the Google IT Support Professional Certificate or the IBM Introduction to Hardware and Operating Systems. These are just two of many options that can help enhance your resume and support you in building your skill set. 

Article sources


Robert Half. “2024 Tech Salaries and Hiring Trends,” Accessed June 24, 2024. 

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