QUESTION: I’m in the process of getting a new certification. Is it too soon to put it on my resume?
Ruth Sternberg, Entrepreneurial Job Search
No. I would highlight it if it’s relevant to the role. You can place it at the top with your summary, giving the date you expect to complete it. Anything you’re learning that can help your value to the employer is something that sets you apart.
Paula Christensen, Strategic Career Coaches
If you are actively pursuing a relevant certification but have not completed it, including it on your resume is an opportunity to demonstrate industry experience and hit potential ATS keywords. Make sure to list the date you expect to earn the certification. Listing the date indicates active pursuit. For example, expected 9/2020, or anticipated, 8/2020.
Kiersten Troutman, Second Glance Résumés
Not too soon at all! This shows progressive experience in your development. You can always add a certification that is in process by listing it and following it with “in process” in parentheses afterward. Or, if you rather, write “expected completion” with the date after it. This may also help in keyword targeting purposes! They may give you a chance if you are particularly close to completion.
If it’s relevant to your role, then it’s definitely not too soon to put it on your resume. You can list the certification title, the organization offering it, and then “in progress” – like: Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, Project Management Institute (in progress). Update the certification year when you complete it. Good for you for “upping” your skills!
Sara Timm, DFW Resume
No, working towards a certification should be included in your resume! You can list the certification and the anticipated date of completion. Once the certification is earned, simply list the date received.
Kyle Elliott, CaffeinatedKyle.com
If you are in the process of getting a new certification, credential, training, or degree, it is never too early to put it on your resume and LinkedIn. Consider adding the phrase “In Progress” or the completion date, which will be in the future and infer that the work is in progress. Recruiters and hiring managers will appreciate your commitment to professional development.
Carla Deter, LinkedIn Profile and Resume Writing Service
Certifications shows a reader that you are passionate about the field to continually better yourself. You should list the certification training so that it is clear you are not already certified by including the name of the certificate first, followed by the granting organization and then include “expected” and the date you intend to receive your certificate. For example, “expected Fall 2020.”
Caitlin Outen, Caitlin May Consulting
Kelly Donovan, Kelly Donovan & Associates
You can list the certification as being “in progress” with an expected completion date, similar to how you might list an academic degree you’re working toward. However, don’t list it if you haven’t actually done any of the work yet! Also, in some professions that are more conservative and rigid, listing it as in progress might be frowned upon. If you’re unsure, ask for a mentor’s opinion.
If education or training towards the certification is officially in progress and it is relevant to the position being applied for, it is absolutely a good idea to put it on your resume. You can list the coursework under the “Education” or “Certifications” section, and put “Expected (date)” in the date column/area. To the employer, this shows motivation, enthusiasm, and professional growth.
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