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Career and Technical Education (CTE) | Student Engagement | Industry Certifications

6 Top Ways to Showcase Your Industry Certifications

May 29th, 2024 | 10 min. read

Brad Hummel

Brad Hummel

Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for iCEV, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students by listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.

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Industry certifications are increasingly an essential measure of a student’s success in a career and technical education (CTE) program. Earning an industry certification demonstrates that a learner has the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a specialized career pathway. 

Often, industry certifications can earn students job interviews and career opportunities directly out of high school. But many certification earners don’t know how to showcase their certifications on job applications and other places that will help them earn desirable professional opportunities. 

In this article, we’ll consider six ways you or your learners can showcase industry certifications: 

  1. Include Your Industry Certification on Your Resume 
  2. Feature Your Industry Certification on Your LinkedIn Profile 
  3. Display a Digital Badge 
  4. Talk About Earning a Certification in a Cover Letter 
  5. Mention Your Certification in a Job Interview 
  6. Include Your Certification on a Scholarship Application 

After reading, you should have plenty of ideas on how to highlight these important credentials so you can make the most of earning an industry certification. 

1. Include Your Industry Certification on Your Resume 

It may seem obvious, but the first and perhaps most important place to showcase your industry certification is on your resume. Often, your resume is an applicant's interaction with a potential employer. Many employers pre-screen resumes to ensure an individual meets the most basic requirements for a job listing. 

Unfortunately, it’s common for employers not to interview every single applicant. This makes it paramount that a prospective employee’s resume stands out. 

While younger applicants may be at a disadvantage when they lack a prior work history in a given field, earning an industry certification can help employers understand that these individuals have prior experience that can make them qualified to work right away—even right out of high school. 

Featuring your industry certification on your resume, along with a brief description of the credential and the steps involved in earning it, can truly help your resume stand out among others. Although it’s no guarantee of immediate success, it’ll increase your chances of landing an interview and the job of your dreams! 

2. Feature Your Industry Certification on Your LinkedIn Profile

As the largest professional social network, LinkedIn is a prime position for job seekers to display their achievements, communicate with professionals in their fields, and even directly apply for jobs. 

However, it’s often not enough just to make a profile and start applying for positions. Often, LinkedIn operates like an interactive digital resume. Not only does it list an individual’s background and experience, but it also showcases individual skills and credentials a person may have, along with links to portfolios and websites that support that experience. This makes LinkedIn an ideal platform for featuring an industry certification. 

When earners include a certification on a LinkedIn profile, they can directly link back to the certification’s website. This gives potential employers more context regarding the work involved in earning a credential. 

Certification earners should also be sure to feature their credentials on other common job search platforms, such as Glassdoor and Indeed. Including your credential on these platforms can help you stand out to recruiters, increasing your chance of landing a top-tier opportunity.

3. Display a Digital Badge

When using an online platform to promote your achievements, displaying a digital badge can provide a great visual mark of your success and quick verification that you have earned a specific industry-based certification.

Digital badging services such as Credly create badges for certification earners, which they can display on a personal website, embed in a resume or professional portfolio, or display on social media. 

Digital badges are embedded with information about the certification, including the name of the earner, the issuing authority, and the competencies required to earn the certification. Including this information directly in the badge allows potential employers to verify the credential quickly and identify a certification earner as a highly qualified job candidate. 

For certifications earned through the iCEV Testing Platform, earners can receive digital badges through Credly. You can check out the digital badging page to learn more about this process and make sure you have badging turned on for your school and students. 

4. Talk About Earning a Certification in a Cover Letter

The cover letter is a time-honored way job applicants can inject personality into the employment process and stand out from fellow job seekers. Often, recent graduates might feel as though they don’t have a lot of experience to talk about in a cover letter. But when you’ve earned an industry certification, there’s plenty to cover. 

For certification earners applying for jobs in a CTE field, explaining your industry certification and the knowledge and skills required to earn your credential can often be the best way to demonstrate in your cover letter that you have the necessary background and experience to succeed. 

Applicants should use their cover letter as their opportunity to talk about specific classes and learning opportunities that prepared them for success on the certification, and how these experiences have fueled their passion for working in a specific CTE field. When your enthusiasm shines through in your cover letter, you’ll likely have the opportunity to talk about your credential further during a job interview. 

5. Mention Your Certification in a Job Interview

If you’ve followed the other steps in this article, chances are a potential employer already knows you’ve earned an industry certification by the time you’ve reached the job interview phase of the employment process. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t mention your certification again. In fact, talking about your experience now could be what is needed to receive an offer of employment. 

When asked about why you feel qualified for a specific opportunity, the answer often lies in your industry certification. You’ve already demonstrated you can do many of the tasks involved in working for this employer through the certification process, so you have every confidence you’d be a good fit for the company. 

Job interviews are also the ideal opportunity for employers to ask specific questions about your certification. See this as an opportunity to go into detail about the steps involved, demonstrate your level of knowledge with industry-specific skills, and show your eagerness to work in the field. 

Ultimately, earning an industry-based certification should make a job candidate feel more confident going into a job interview since they already have developed the skills they need for success. 

6. Include Your Certification on a Scholarship Application

Finally, it’s important for some certification earners to include their credential on a scholarship application. While many CTE graduates seek employment directly from high school, many others apply to two-year and four-year colleges and universities to further their learning. Depending on the CTE pathway, more education may even be a requirement before gaining employment in the field. 

Additional schooling can be costly, which is why many students apply for scholarships to help defray the cost of attendance and limit or avoid debt. Most scholarships are competitive, which means it's essential that applicants stand out to be successful.  

Including an industry certification on an application can help learners stand out as particularly worthy of scholarship aid. It also serves as evidence of a proven record of success for a student. 

Scholarship committees want to know their money is going to students who will complete the programs they set out to study. Therefore, earning a certification helps to verify an individual is committed to learning and is worthy of financial support. 

Help Students Stand Out with Industry Certifications 

In this article, you’ve discovered how industry certifications can serve as evidence of success in studying CTE subjects and can be the first step toward a successful career. When you encourage certification earners to showcase their achievements in the places mentioned in this article, they’ll be well on their way to starting successful careers.

However, you can go even further in helping your students celebrate their certifications and earn high-paying opportunities.

When you visit iCEV's #HireCertified page, you'll find materials that will help you promote industry-based certifications in your classroom and share their value with students and employers in your community.

The page includes flyers, handouts, graphics, and other resources you can use to demonstrate the value of industry certifications.

Discover the #HireCertified page and start showcasing certifications today:

Explore the Hire Certified Page