Making the distinction between academic credentials and training and professional development on your resume can demonstrate that you have job-specific knowledge and exposure to areas that are particularly relevant to the job you're seeking. Because your resume and application are the first proof of your qualifications, citing specialized training can separate you from other applicants.

Three Basic Resume Formats

There are three basic types of resume formats: chronological, functional and combination or hybrid. The placement of your training and professional development largely depends on the resume format you use and how relevant your training is to the job you want. Use a resume format that is most suitable for the qualifications the employer requires, or the format the employer requires for properly completed application packages.

Chronological Resume Format

A chronological resume lists your work history in reverse order from your current or most recent position to the earliest job. A description of your job duties, responsibilities and accomplishments follow your job title or position, employer and employment dates. The logical order of other qualifications on a chronological resume is:

(a) career highlights and achievements
(b) academic credentials
(c) job-related or professional skills
(d) training and certifications.

The placement of your training and certifications could change, however, depending on how important your training is for this job.

Functional Resume Format

A functional resume describes your work history according to functional areas. For example, if you're a human resources manager, functional areas in your field might include employee relations; benefits and compensation, employee development, risk management and talent acquisition. List your career highlights according to its functional area. For example, if you created a whistle-blower program and hotline that potentially saved money the company would have spent on litigating high-profile ethics cases, include that with the description of your expertise in risk management.

After your functional area descriptions, list academic credentials, job-related skills, training and certifications. Because of the ever-changing nature of the HR profession and compliance issues within the field, you might be better served if you place the list of training and certifications above your academic credentials. This is true for other professions as well. Based on the type of training you received, you might be able to save some space by not including a separate section for job-related or professional skills.

Combination Resume Format

A combination resume contains both functional descriptions and a work history chronology. An example of a combination resume would contain a description of your functional expertise, followed by the work history chronology. The work history chronology for this type of hybrid resume doesn't contain descriptions for each job; simply list the position or job title, employer and employment dates. The descriptions in the functional section of your resume will suffice for individual job-specific descriptions. After the compact work history section, list your academic credentials, followed by training, certifications and professional development.

Required Training and Certification

If the position you want requires specific training or certifications, list the ones you've completed right below your career objective or your resume introduction. For example, there are a number of training and certifications that may be required to demonstrate that you qualify for certain IT positions. List those training classes and the certifications you earned in reverse chronological order.

Required Academic Credentials

Likewise, if the job posting specifically requires certain academic credentials, such as an advanced or professional degree; for example, masters, doctoral, law or medical degree, place these in a prominent location on your resume. Ideally, you can list your academic credentials right below your career objective and before your work history. For job postings that require specific GPA or if you graduated with honors, include that information with each educational institution and the degree you earned. List additional training and certifications below your academic credentials section.

Training and Certification Descriptions

For descriptions of training, continuing education, certifications and professional development, list the seminar or training title, workshop sponsor and date and location.


Advanced Workshop for HR Practitioners, HR Training Institute, [insert month and year], [insert city, state]; Certification of Completion.

Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician Training, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, [insert dates or month and year], [insert city and state]; CCENT Certification received [insert month and year].