What Does Designation Mean on a Resume?

what does designation mean on a resume

When crafting a resume, one important element to consider is the designation. The designation is a professional title or certification that an individual has earned, showcasing their expertise in a given field. Potential employers often scrutinize these designations, along with the candidate’s qualifications and skills, to determine the candidate’s suitability for a position.

Designations can include certifications, licenses, or other professional credentials, and may differ from job titles, which typically describe the roles and responsibilities of a position. Incorporating relevant designations in a resume is crucial to boosting one’s profile, especially if the designation is a requirement or preferred qualification for the job being sought. Employers may view candidates with recognized designations as more qualified and dedicated to their profession, making them a stronger choice for a position.

Key Takeaways

  • Designations are professional titles or certifications that showcase expertise in a field
  • Incorporating relevant designations in a resume can boost the candidate’s profile
  • Designations differ from job titles and may be viewed as more qualified by potential employers

Understanding Designation

A designation on a resume refers to the professional job title or position held by an individual in an organization. It is an essential aspect of a person’s professional standing, as it conveys their expertise, skills, and experience level within a specific career field.

A group of professionals in a seminar or conference setting. Each person wears a badge with a designation.

Including the appropriate designation can significantly impact a candidate’s ability to secure the desired job position. Recruiters often review resumes at a glance, so a clear and concise designation helps them quickly evaluate a candidate’s relevance to the job opening. Moreover, it enables the candidate to showcase their career progression and how their previous roles align with the desired job title.

In addition to highlighting a candidate’s qualifications and aptitude for the role, the designation on a resume should also reflect the nature and responsibilities of the position. For example, a marketing professional might have a designation like “Marketing Manager” or “Digital Marketing Specialist.” To ensure accuracy, it is essential to use standard terms that employers recognize, rather than creative or exaggerated titles.

Designation vs Job Title

When it comes to a resume, the designation and job title are terms often used interchangeably. Though they hold similar meanings, there are subtle differences that might leave people confused. This section aims to clarify these differences while also providing tips on effectively showcasing them on a resume.

The designation refers to the position someone holds in a company or organization – it describes their role and responsibility. It is often associated with their level of expertise and skill set, and it is used by hiring professionals to gauge a potential candidate’s capabilities. On the other hand, the job title is a more general term used to define the function of a professional within a company. It might not comprehensively capture the individual’s actual duties and responsibilities.

For instance, an employee could have the job title “Marketing Associate” but their designation might be closer to “Digital Marketing Specialist” due to their specialized expertise in that area. The discrepancy between the job title and the designation may cause potential issues on a resume if not appropriately tackled. To ensure an accurate representation, one can consider listing their responsibilities and achievements in a clear, concise manner. This way, the resume better communicates the candidate’s true job experience.

Flowchart explaining the differences between designation vs job title

Despite their similarities, designation, and job title serve different purposes on a resume. The designation offers more specific information about the candidate’s role, while the job title simply states their broader function within the company. To overcome any discrepancies and avoid confusion, it’s essential for job seekers to clearly convey their qualifications and experiences in line with their designation.

Incorporating Designation in Resumes

A well-prepared resume should effectively showcase your qualifications, work experience, and education relevant to the desired position. When seeking a job, incorporating designations in your resume can significantly increase your chances of standing out from other candidates.

Designations can represent different levels of expertise within a field, and including them on your resume reflects your commitment to professional development. Some examples of designations include professional certifications, licenses, or academic qualifications. When presenting designations on your resume, it is essential to list them in a way that is easily comprehensible and emphasizes your suitability for the role.

One effective method of incorporating designations is by placing them immediately following your name, separated by commas. This approach effectively highlights your qualifications and makes them easily visible to the employer at first glance. Another way to present designations is by listing them within the education section of your resume, together with your degrees and other academic achievements. This arrangement allows potential employers to view your overall educational background and understand your level of expertise in context.

When adding designations in the experience section, be sure to mention any specific roles or responsibilities related to work experience that hold high relevance to your designation. By doing so, you provide evidence of how your qualifications have contributed to your performance in previous roles and demonstrate their value to the employer.

Cartoon illustration set in an office environment. A hiring manager, characterized by professional attire and glasses, stands between two floating resumes. The resume on the left is plain without any designations highlighted, while the one on the right prominently showcases various designations in bold or colored text. The manager, with a pleased expression, points approvingly towards the right resume, emphasizing the importance of highlighted designations.

Incorporating designations in your resume effectively can significantly enhance your chances of being noticed by potential employers. Be mindful of showcasing your expertise while maintaining a clear, concise, and organized presentation of your qualifications throughout the document.

Designations and Certifications

Designations and certifications on a resume showcase a candidate’s professional achievements, skills, and qualifications. They help employers and hiring managers quickly identify the candidate’s strengths and capabilities. Some common examples include certificates, professional certifications, certifications and licenses, and the CPA designation.

Certificates are awarded by educational institutions, vocational schools, or specialized training programs. These document the completion of a course or a series of courses, indicating the acquisition of valuable subject matter expertise. Skill-specific certificates, such as coding languages or social media marketing, can be a competitive advantage in the job market.

A wall adorned with various framed certificates, with professionals discussing them in the foreground. This emphasizes the weight and prestige such certifications can carry.

Professional certifications are often industry-specific qualifications that demonstrate proficiency in a certain field or function. They are generally granted by professional organizations or accrediting bodies, often requiring members to pass an examination or complete a certain number of continuing education units. Examples include Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

Certifications and licenses often go hand-in-hand, as some certifications require the holder to have a valid license. Licenses are mandatory in certain fields, such as nursing, teaching, and real estate, as they indicate legal permission to practice within a certain jurisdiction. While licenses are typically issued by government agencies, certifications tend to be granted by non-governmental bodies.

The CPA designation is an important example of a professional certification in the field of accounting. Certified Public Accountants have passed the Uniform CPA Examination, fulfilled educational requirements, and met experience criteria, demonstrating a high level of competence in accounting principles and practices. Employers and clients often seek CPA-qualified professionals for reliable and knowledgeable financial guidance.

Listing relevant designations and certifications on a resume can support a candidate’s professional credibility, making them a more attractive prospect for the job. Candidates should ensure they include accurate and up-to-date information on all certifications, designations, and licenses, as well as the issuing authority and expiration date where applicable. This practice will make it easier for employers to evaluate and verify their qualifications quickly and confidently.

Boosting Profile Through Designations

A well-crafted resume with relevant designations can significantly increase the candidate’s chances of being noticed by employers, recruiters, and hiring managers. Designations, which are credentials earned by professionals for their achievements in their respective fields, can showcase one’s expertise, add credibility to their profile, and ensure a competitive edge in the job market.

Having designations on a resume demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning and professional development, making the candidate stand out. Employers value such dedication as it reflects the individual’s potential to be an asset to any organization. Moreover, this information can also be included on the candidate’s LinkedIn profile to create a solid online presence that piques the interest of potential employers and improves networking opportunities.

To make the most of designations, present them clearly and strategically on a resume. Candidates can do so by listing them after their name, in a separate section dedicated to certifications or qualifications, or as part of the relevant work experience section. By using these methods, hiring managers can quickly identify the value and expertise a candidate brings to the table.

Illustration set in an office space. At the center, there's a computer screen displaying a LinkedIn profile. On the profile, an individual's name is prominently displayed, followed by a series of prestigious designations in bold. Around the computer, several cartoon professionals of diverse genders and ethnicities are depicted nodding in appreciation and admiration. Their expressions and gestures convey that the designations on the profile enhance the individual's credibility and impressiveness in the professional realm.

Adding designations to a resume and LinkedIn profile is an effective way to boost visibility and credibility in the job market. These credentials reveal dedication to professional growth, which appeals to employers, recruiters, and hiring managers, ultimately enhancing the candidate’s career prospects.

Designations and Professional Associations

Designations on a resume refer to professional titles or certifications that denote an individual’s expertise and accomplishments in a specific field. Including these designations can set a candidate apart by showcasing their specialized knowledge and skills. They are typically awarded by professional associations and societies at both national and state levels.

Professional associations are organizations that bring together individuals who share a common occupation, field, or interest. These associations often grant designations to qualifying members to demonstrate their competence in the profession. The designations may involve completing certain educational or training requirements, practical experience, or passing examinations.

There are various professional associations and societies at national and state levels across different industries. For example, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is a national association that awards the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation to qualified accountants in the United States. Similarly, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is a professional association that offers certifications like the SHRM-CP (Certified Professional) and SHRM-SCP (Senior Certified Professional) in the human resources field.

Incorporating designations on a resume should be done thoughtfully and strategically. They can be placed next to the candidate’s name, in the education or certifications section, or even in a separate section specifically for professional affiliations. It is essential to include the full name of the designation, the issuing organization, and the year of award.


John Smith, CPA
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), 2020

Examples of Designations

Designations on a resume refer to professional titles, certifications, or memberships that demonstrate a candidate’s expertise in their chosen field. Employers often look for these credentials to ascertain the candidate’s qualifications and credibility. Here are some examples of common designations:

Collage of a meeting or networking event of a professional association. A man having a number of tags that display designations.

Accounting and Finance: In this field, designations like Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) showcase a high level of expertise. Additionally, an MBA degree can also be a significant designation, indicating advanced knowledge of business administration and financial management.

Healthcare: Registered Nurse (RN), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) are typical designations found on resumes in the healthcare industry. These credentials signify that the individual has completed the necessary education and training to provide patient care.

Security and Risk Management: Professionals in this sector often have designations such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Security+ Expert (SE). These certifications highlight a candidate’s ability to assess and manage security risks in various contexts.

Management Consulting: Certified Management Consultant (CMC) is a well-known designation in the management consulting field, illustrating the consultant’s proficiency in delivering advisory services across industries.

Human Resources: Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Professional in Human Resources (PHR) are examples of designations related to HR professionals, displaying their understanding of human resource management principles and practices.

Property Management: Leasing Specialist and Leasing Consultant are designations for professionals in the property management industry. These titles reflect their experience and expertise in leasing procedures and property marketing.

Operations and Supply Chain: Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) are examples of designations showcasing a candidate’s capabilities in managing production and inventory processes in the supply chain.

Project Management: Project management professionals often hold designations like Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), demonstrating their ability to manage complex projects effectively.

FieldExample Designations
Accounting and FinanceCPA, CFA, CFP, MBA
HealthcareRN, CNA, LPN
Security and Risk ManagementCISSP, CIA, SE
Management ConsultingCMC
Human ResourcesSPHR, PHR
Property ManagementLeasing Specialist, Leasing Consultant
Operations and Supply ChainCPIM, CSCP
Project ManagementPMP, CAPM
Table 1: Examples of Designations by Field

Including relevant designations on a resume can significantly improve a candidate’s prospects by highlighting their expertise, commitment to professional development, and credibility within their industry. However, it is essential to ensure that all listed credentials are up-to-date and accurately represent the candidate’s qualifications.

Designation Tests and Courses

Employers often look for candidates with specific designations on their resumes, as these indicate a higher level of expertise in a given field. To attain these designations, individuals must complete a series of tests and courses.

Designation tests are usually administered by professional organizations or accrediting bodies. They assess the candidate’s knowledge, skills, and abilities in the specific area. Passing these tests demonstrates a mastery of the subject matter and a commitment to professional development.

Courses play a critical role in preparing candidates for these tests. They may be offered by universities, colleges, professional organizations, or private institutions. These courses vary in duration and format, but often include lectures, workshops, case studies, and hands-on training. Some individuals might opt for part-time or evening courses to balance their work and study schedules.

A study group of individuals going through course materials and mock tests. Books, highlighters are spread out on a table, emphasizing preparation for designation tests.

An essential aspect of preparing for a designation exam is understanding the test format and the specific content areas covered. Candidates can gain this knowledge through various resources, such as self-study guides, online materials, and joining study groups.

Designation tests and courses serve as a means for professionals to advance their careers and demonstrate their expertise in a particular domain. By investing time and effort in obtaining these designations, individuals can enrich their resumes and increase their chances of securing coveted job positions.


A designation on a resume refers to the job title or position that a candidate has held in their previous work experiences. It is a crucial part of the resume as it helps potential employers understand the roles and responsibilities the candidate has undertaken in the past. This information allows employers to evaluate the suitability of the candidate for the position they are applying for.

Including designations in a resume requires a straightforward, concise approach. It is essential to list the job titles or positions held, along with the duration, organization, and a brief description of the responsibilities. Using bullet points can help to neatly organize the information, making it easily readable and comprehensible.

Similar Posts