How to List Honors on a Resume

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In a competitive job market, use all of your experience, accomplishments, and academic honors to help your resume stand out among the other applications. By learning how to showcase your academic honors on your resume properly, you can better show your work ethic and qualifications to possible employers. To find out more about when you should list honors on your resume, as well as how and where to effectively include academic honors when creating your resume, keep reading.

Should you list honors on your resume?

Listing your honors on your resume can help you stand out from other applicants with similar qualifications. Tailor your resume to fit your honors and accomplishments and highlight their relevance to the position and industry. Understanding when and how to add honors can help you create a more competitive resume that stands out to hiring managers.

Here are some examples of times when it is especially beneficial to incorporate academic honors into your resume:

  • You’re an entry-level candidate. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, it’s a good idea to find different ways of showing the qualities that make you an ideal candidate for the position. One of the best ways to do this is to highlight your academic accomplishments to show employers that you can work hard and are committed to excellence.
  • The job you are applying for requires a strong academic background. Some occupations have strict educational prerequisites, which means that you need to emphasize your academic accomplishments. Additionally, many prestigious organizations require your honors. Read the employer’s requirements carefully to see if you need to include your GPA or any specific honors on your resume.
  • There is room on your resume. Your accomplishments, awards, and honors are usually an asset to your resume, but only include them if you have space. Place importance on some of the essential information that employers want to see, such as professional experience. As long as you can keep your resume to one page, it’s helpful to add your honors.

If you have strong academic honors and space, add a select few to help you stand out.

How to list honors on your resume

Follow these steps to list honors on your resume correctly and effectively:

  1. First, be selective about the awards and achievements. A reasonable number of honors to list is three to five and can include graduation honors, academic honor societies, and awards. Remember to prioritize your best accomplishments because including too many achievements on your resume could distract from your other qualifications.
  2. Second, format your Latin honors properly. Graduating with Latin honors is a significant achievement that you should list on your resume. Because they are Latin, you need to write these honors in all lowercase letters and italicize them. For example, magna cum laude.
  3. Next, provide a brief explanation. Provide information about what each award means and what is required. This is especially helpful if a distinction or award is uncommon. If you earned an easily recognizable award, such as making the dean’s list, you likely don’t need to explain.
  4. Then, list the year or years you earned it. If you earned the honor during a specific period, list the years. For example, if you were part of an honors society for two years, your resume entry could look like, ‘Honors Society, 2016–2018.’ Showing how many years the honor lasted can make it seem more impressive.
  5. Finally, leave GPA off of your resume. Unless specifically required by an employer, mentioning your undergraduate GPA on a resume is usually unnecessary. If you decide to mention your GPA, place it in parentheses next to your honors, as cum laude (GPA 3.8).

Regardless of how much professional experience you have, academic achievements are a great way to communicate your employability to hiring managers. Following these steps will guide you through successfully listing your honors on a resume to showcase your dedication.

Where to list honors on your resume

When deciding where to place your academic honors on a resume, you have several options, including:

  • Create a separate Awards and Achievements section. If you’d like to display several academic achievements on your resume, add a separate section to ensure the hiring manager sees them. You can usually place this section directly below or beside a professional experience section.
  • List honors in your education section. Another option is to create bullet points below each degree in your education section, which provides employers with a brief list of notable dates and achievements. This is most effective if you only have a few listings.
  • Use subsections below each degree. It helps to organize your academic achievements and activities into subsections in your education section beneath each degree. You can relate these aspects of your educational background with one another and create a narrative of your college experience. Using this method, you would make a subsection for your honors and activities and list your most relevant and notable accomplishments.

Wherever and however you decide to list your honors on a resume, make sure that the placement is logical and well-organized. This helps employers learn about your qualifications and work ethic.

Examples of resumes with honors

Read the following examples of resumes with honors listed.

Separate awards section

Here’s an example of honors being listed in a section specifically dedicated to your accomplishments.

Honors and Awards

  • Graduated summa cum laude, Hampshire University, 2016
  • Recipient, AICPA John L. Carey Scholarship Award, 2015
  • Member of Phi Theta Kappa, International Honor Society, 2015–Present
  • Active member of Phi Alpha Delta, International Law Fraternity, 2014–Present
  • Dean’s list, Hampshire University, 2014–2016

Honors in the education section

Here’s an example of how to list honors in a bulleted list below a degree.


Bachelor of Arts in Journalism | Northwestern University | 2012–2016

  • Graduated magna cum laude
  • Dean’s list, all semesters
  • Member of Spanish Honors Society, 2013–2016

Awards and activities subsections

If you decide to create subsections below each degree, here’s an example that can guide you.


New York University | Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing | May 2018


  • Graduated cum laude 
  • Member of Creative Writing Honors Program
  • Dean’s list, all semesters
  • Member of the National Latin Honor Society, 2015–2018


  • Editor of Dovetail, the literary and arts journal
  • Captain of the women’s soccer team, 2017–2018
  • Vice president of the student body, 2017–2018

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