How to List Certifications on Your CV: Guide + Examples

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Achieve your career goals with the help of certifications. Find out how to include them on your CV today.

[Featured Image] A man is working with his laptop.

A certification on your CV emphasises to potential employers the work you have done to acquire in-demand skills. As a result, highlighting your professional credentials on your CV can be an excellent way to demonstrate how prepared you are for your next job. 

In this article, you will learn how to put qualifications on your CV, where else they should go on your application materials, and why you might want to consider getting a Professional Certificate to meet your career goals. 

CV certifications: impact and when to use them

Your certifications can have a significant impact on your job search. In this section, you will learn the tangible benefits of having a certification on your CV and when to highlight them. 

Impact of certifications on your CV

Certification may increase your pay and improve your chances of being employed. Certifications document your proficiency in a specified field.

The experts at McKinsey Global Institute predict that jobs will become increasingly skill-intensive, particularly in digital technology. The demand for employees with expertise and qualifications in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence isn’t the only notable element. As technology continues shifting the employment landscape in India, employers will also need solid workplace skills like critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving, correlating to the digital creation of 65 million new jobs in the country by 2025 [1].

When to highlight certifications on your CV

You have many good reasons to include a certification on your CV. But, depending on the job, you might not want to list all your credentials.  

Some common reasons to include a certification on your CV are:   

1. The job requires it.

If the job you’re applying to requires a specific certification, you should include it on your CV. To find out if an employer only wants applicants with a particular certification carefully read the job description for any requirements. 

2. It’s relevant to the job. 

If you possess a certification that the job doesn’t require but is nonetheless relevant, consider including it on your CV. That said, only include those certifications and licences pertinent to the job. Including irrelevant qualifications could obscure those preparing you for the position and unnecessarily clutter your CV. 

3. You lack relevant work experience. 

If you are applying for a job or industry in which you have yet to gain experience, a relevant certification can help emphasise your preparedness for the role. This strategy is beneficial for career switchers and those entering the job market. 

4. It’s an achievement.

If the certification is a rare achievement in your industry, putting it on your CV can be an excellent way to draw attention to your dedication to the field. It also highlights any special training you have completed. Typically, this scenario only applies to those with many years of experience in the industry.

How to list certifications on your CV

When listing a certification on your CV, the format to follow is relatively straightforward. Generally, you have five key components to include. They are:

1. Title: The official name of the certification.

2. Awarding institution: The name of the professional or educational organisation through which you acquired your certification or licence. 

3. The date it was awarded: You completed the certification requirements. If you’re still in the process of meeting those requirements, put ‘In progress.’

4. The expiration date: The date the issuing body or organisation stops recognising the certification. Many awarding institutions offer the opportunity to extend your credential through additional training. 

5. Relevant skills: The skills you honed and acquired through the certification programme. The skills you emphasise should be those relevant to the position you are applying to.

Example and template

In practice, you can organise the five parts like the template and example below. When listing relevant certifications or licences, order them in reverse chronological order, with the most recent ahead of the oldest.

Certification nameCPR certification
Awarding institution, DateIndia Red Cross Society December 2022
Expires: DateExpires: December 2024
Relevant skills: Skills listRelevant skills: AED, CPR

Where to put certifications on CV

You can place your qualifications in several areas of your CV. In this section, you will learn the most common – and strategic – places on your CV and job application to put your certifications. 

1. In a ‘certifications and licences’ section

You can start by highlighting your credentials in a dedicated certification section on your CV. 

Depending on how it is formatted, you can add this section under the ‘education’ section or the ‘skills’ section of your CV. A common name for this section is ‘certifications and licences,’ but you can also call it ‘certifications’ or ‘licences’ depending on your qualifications. 

In this section, only add certifications and licences relevant to the position so hiring managers can easily find them. You might have numerous qualifications from numerous fields; however, only those most pertinent to the job matter here. You will likely have to tailor your CV for each job application.

2. Alongside your name

Some certifications and licences include a common abbreviation well-accepted and understood in a professional community, such as CCRN for ‘Critical Care Registered Nurse’ in the health care profession. If your certification falls under this category, then it is wise to add the abbreviation next to your name in the contact information section of your CV. Doing so allows hiring managers to see the relevant certifications you possess quickly. 


Melinda Stamets, CCRN, RN

M: 55-5555-5555


3. In your CV summary

In the professional summary section of your CV, it is helpful to include relevant certifications to re-emphasise your credentials. It not only helps hiring managers see that you possess the required training for the job, but it also can help automated systems that scan your CV to identify you as someone with the required qualifications.


‘CCRN certified nurse with 6+ years of professional experience supporting hospital administration and critically ill patients in ICU and critical care transport’.

4. In your cover letter

The final place in your job application to reference your certifications and licences is on your cover letter. It’s an effective strategy to flag your credentials immediately in your job application and expand on how you have employed those skills professionally. At the same time, it can also help your CV more easily match with the automated systems that scan for specific keywords. 


‘As a CCRN certified nurse, I have over six years experience working alongside administrators and other health care providers in intensive care units to ensure critically ill patients get the help they need.’ 

Add Professional Certificates on Coursera to your CV

A relevant certification has the potential to improve your job prospects. So can additional education with credentials to back up the skills and knowledge you gain. For example, consider obtaining a Professional Certificate on Coursera for your next career shift.

Offered by world-class partners such as Google, IBM, and Meta, flexible, online professional certificates can help you get job-ready for such in-demand careers as project manager or data analyst

Article sources

Keep reading

Updated on
Written by:

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.