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How to Include a CFA on a Resume — The 3 Best Ways!

How to Include a CFA on a Resume — The 3 Best Ways!

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Achieving a CFA designation is no easy feat, and you should be extremely proud to have this experience as a job-seeking employee!

In addition to regular job experience, this designation shows that an employee took the extra time to complete additional education, and to further strengthen their skills in the financial sector.

It also serves as proof that an employee is qualified, and their experience is genuine. Let’s take a look at how we can list this on a resume to help highlight such an achievement.

A CFA designation could be listed in three places on a resume: In the certifications section, the education section, or next to your name. Because it is such an asset, it should be listed at the top of the whichever section it is in.

When including the certification, make sure to word it clearly and without further explanation such as bullet points. 


Why should employers care about CFA?

Employers will instantly take note of a CFA designation listed on a resume. In the field of investment analysis, being a CFA mean that you have proven to be one of the best of the best in the business.

CFA designations require four years of higher-education, four years of professional experience, or a combination thereof.

Furthermore, there are three levels to CFA certification, and each level can only be taken once a year. 

Resumes are intended to measure long-term experience and dedication, making a CFA designation a powerful combination of educational, professional, and self-driven experiences.

Employers can also list your certification on an employee website to help attract clients to their business, making it a win-win situation for both parties. 


How to list a CFA designation in the education section

It is most common to place a CFA designation in the certifications section, however, some jobseekers choose to place it in the education section instead. This is because a CFA designation is granted after hundreds of hours of study, and upon passing a series of three tests. 

Another reason one might want to include CFA in the education section is that education is usually listed directly after contact information at the top of a resume.

It would be one of the first things an employer reads on a resume, which may hold their interest.

This is especially true when applying for a highly sought-after position.

Employers tend to only scan resumes for jobs with high application rates, so you want to try to catch their attention fast.

Formatting in the education section is a bit different, since simply listing “Chartered Financial Analyst” would look bare when directly above a university degree.

University degrees are typically written with additional information such as your major, your minor, the dates of education, and other relevant information.

It is recommended to include the CFA institute, and possibly the level you have achieved. If you are only a level one or two, you may choose to leave it off. Listing CFA in the education section could look like the following:


  • Chartered Financial Analyst – Level III (CFA Institute)


  • New Hampshire State University
    • Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance (20xx-20xx)


How to list a CFA designation in the certifications section

Certifications are typically located beneath professional work experience on a resume and are listed in their own section.

This section can be titled either “certifications” or “professional designations”. These sections should be very short and to the point, and without explanation written beneath the listed certifications. 

Unlike listing other certifications, CFA designations are not typically listed with dates of achievement.

There are a few ways to word a CFA designation, so let us look at a few examples. The first is the most common. It is straightforward, and easily understood by an employer. 


  • Chartered Financial Analyst


As testing has become increasingly globalized, some jobseekers opt to include the country in which they took the exam.

It may also give a jobseeker an advantage if a company is looking to have analysts from all over the world, or who specialize in a certain geographical area of finances. Specifying in which country you took the exam can be done as follows:


  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA Institute – USA)


The CFA Institute has listed a few tips on their website about how you could format a designation on your resume. You can read their brief tips here.

The CFA Institute also suggests that jobseekers include the designation in the certifications section, and note that it could be listed as follows:


  • CFA® Charterholder, CFA Institute


Although the CFA institute notes that you may include dates of designation in your resume, it is very uncommon for jobseekers to do so.

It is also uncommon for resumes to include this CFA mark in the certifications section, though some opt to include it next to their names. 


How to list a CFA mark next to your name

While it remains uncommon to use the “CFA mark” in the certifications, this mark comes with a few benefits. Only those who have achieved and have an active status of CFA are legally allowed to use the CFA designation or mark on their resumes.

The CFA institute states that CFA marks are “symbols of professionalism and integrity that distinguish charterholders from other investment professionals around the world.”

For this reason, it can be impressive to list this after one’s name on their resume. This may look like the following:

John Smith, CFA

123 Green Drive, NC 12345

Telephone: (888) 123-4567

E-mail: [email protected]




John Smith, CFA® charterholder

123 Green Drive, NC 12345

Telephone: (888) 123-4567

E-mail: [email protected]


If you are listing the designation next to your name, it is a bit redundant to include it in the education section.

These two sections are usually close together on a resume, and it does not come across professionally to see the same designation twice in one space.

You may, however, list a CFA designation once more in the certifications section. This is especially true if you have an extensive job history, or many skills between your name and your certifications section.