Many job seekers would benefit by adding a Professional Development section to their resumes. A professional development section can include anything you're working on, affiliated with, or continuing education that is relevant to your career. Including this section can really help capture the attention of a hiring manager and give you a leg up on the other candidates. It's sort of like "extracurricular activities" and it could really help set you apart from the competition. We'll show you how to list professional development programs on a resume along with some examples.
Professional development on a resume
The first thing we need to cover is what you can include in the professional development section. Remember that the information here needs to be relevant to the position you're targeting. If you made a career change or if it's not relevant to the position in any way - it shouldn't be on there.
Here are some examples of what you can include for professional development experience:
Positioning and labeling the professional development section
The professional development section would usually go after your work experience and right before the education section.
If you have only one or two professional learning items to add to this section then you could just combine it with your education.
You can call it:
"Education and Professional Development"
"Education, Professional Development, and Affiliations"
You can use any combination here from the bullet point list above.
Example of professional development on a resume:
Education, Professional Development & Affiliations
Bachelor of Arts, Communications – Seattle University, 2012
Marketing Courses – UC Berkeley Extension
Affiliations – National Association of Sales Professionals, Think LA, SF BIG, IAA Board SF
Here it is on a resume:
If you have a lot of relevant content to include under professional development, then you should separate it from the education section.
You should also be specific with the career development information you include. If it was a presentation or seminar, include the location and year it took place.
"Research presented at the International Marketing Conference - San Francisco, 2018."
When not to use a professional development section
If there are certain certifications or training programs that are required for the position, then you should give it a separate section and label it accordingly. This way the hiring manager can easily spot what they're looking for. It might be hard to catch if it's buried somewhere with your other professional development you have listed.
We wrote a good post here on including certifications on a resume.
You should also only add this section if you have relevant information to add. A CPR certification won't do you any good if you're applying for an accounting position. Make sure that the information you include helps show why you're a good match for that particular position.
A professional development section can really help you stand out from the competition. Showing relevant continuing education, training and other professional development will give you a leg up on the other candidates.
Good luck with your job search!
The ZipJob team is made up of professional writers located across the USA and Canada with backgrounds in HR, recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing.