Today we examine the top of Paul’s résumé. In fact, we are looking at just the very first line on his résumé, the title line. Paul has a few qualifying credentials, including two degrees and an industry certification. He has listed these credentials after his name. Is this right? Is it pretentious? What is appropriate? Let’s dig deeper on this topic so the first words on your résumé will not be a turn-off!
Paul M. Ermonte, BA, MBA, MCSE
Here are a few tips to help you determine which, if any, of your credentials are appropriate to list after your name on the title line of your résumé.
- All degrees relevant to your career goal should be listed at the bottom of the résumé under the “Education” category. All industry and professional certifications related to your career goal should be listed under the “Professional Certifications” category on your résumé.
- The only academic credentials (degrees) that you should list after your name at the top of the résumé should be doctorate level degrees, such as MD, DO, DDS, DVM, PhD, and EdD. A master’s degree or bachelor’s degree should never be included after your name. It does not rise to the level of a doctorate degree and is not appropriate on that top line.
- If you are applying for a position that requires a master’s degree (An MBA or MFA for example), you can include that in the résumé summary. However, adding it to the top line after your name is not appropriate.
- Professional credentials such as a CPA (Certified Professional Accountant) or PE (Professional Engineer) are highly-specialized credentials. Only list the professional credential specifically related to your job goal. Also, only list the high-caliber, marquis credentials. What defines high-caliber? Credentials that involve coursework, underlying degrees, practical work experience in the field, peer reviewed work, research papers, and an exam are of status above certifications that require online coursework and /or an exam. The other defining element is a credential that is the industry-recognized standard to show the candidate is able to practice in a certain occupation, such as RN.
If you are in doubt about whether to include a specific credential, it is better to omit it from the top line and mention it in the summary. Write me with this or any résumé question. I am happy to help.