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How to Show CFA® Designation on Your Resume

By: Kaplan Schweser
December 1, 2021
How to show CFA designation on resume and social media

Earning the CFA designation is a great accomplishment and is an indication of your hard work and dedication to advance your career as a financial professional. You should be proud of yourself, and understand the rules and guidelines set by the CFA Institute when communicating your Chartered Financial Analyst® status on resumes, in social media profiles, and in other types of written communications.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Resume Rules for CFA Marks

Deciding if you should use CFA® or Chartered Financial Analyst® or knowing when to use the ® symbol can be confusing, especially if you recently earned your CFA designation and want to add this information to your resume.   

Choosing to use CFA® or Chartered Financial Analyst® is up to you.  If you have room for it, go for Chartered Financial Analyst®.  If you don’t have room for an extra three words or prefer a shortened version use CFA®.

The first and most prominent use of CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst in text material should include the registered trademark symbol ®. It is not necessary to use the ® symbol when the marks directly follow the name of a specific individual but for resumes and cover letters you should use ® after CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst because your name is usually the most prominent text on a resume or cover letter. 

If you add CFA® or Chartered Financial Analyst® to the education or certification sections of your resume or a detail section in your cover letter, they should be used as an adjective instead of a noun.  One way to remember this is the sentence should still make sense if you remove CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst.

Resume Rules for Active CFA Charterholders

If you are an active CFA charterholder in good standing with the CFA Institute, the guidelines for including your CFA designation in your resume are pretty straightforward.  

  • You can include the CFA designation after your name on your resume. For example: “ John Smith, CFA” excluding the ® symbol.
  • You can include your CFA designation in the certification or education sections of your resume and must include the ® symbol.  For example: “CFA® charterholder, CFA Institute.”
  • You may also include the date you earned your CFA designation in the certification or education sections of your resume.

Resume Rules for Lapsed CFA Charterholders

If you are no longer a CFA charterholder but still in the job market and want to show that you were once a CFA charterholder on your resume, you can.   The CFA Institute will only allow you to keep the CFA designation in the certification section of your resume as long as you specify the dates you were an active CFA charterholder in your resume and include the ® symbol.  For example: “CFA® charterholder, 20XX - 20XX.”  

Resume Rules for CFA Program Candidates

Are you currently a candidate in the CFA program and want your resume to reflect your initial commitment to earning the CFA designation? If so, the CFA Institute has a few guidelines for you to follow.  Remember that Ethics and Professional Standards are an important aspect of your career as a CFA charterholder so be transparent about where you are at in the process.  

  • You can insert information about your involvement in the CFA Program in the education section of your resume only and you must include the ® symbol.  For example: “CFA® Program participant, CFA Institute.”
  • In the education section of your resume, you can also include which level you can complete and the date of completion.  For example: “Completed Level II in 20XX.” 
  • You may only use the term “candidate” if you are actively registered for an upcoming CFA exam. 

Can you write attempted CFA Level I on your resume?

If you attempted the CFA Level I exam and failed, you should not include that information on your resume.  Most CFA candidates fail at least one exam during their CFA charterholder journey.  We suggest you try again and consider a Kaplan Schweser Level I exam prep package to help you study for the Level I CFA exam.

Can you share CFA designation on social media?

Yes, you can share your CFA designation on social media but the CFA Institute has set different guidelines for various platforms.  If you plan to advertise that you are a CFA charterholder on social media make sure you continue to meet the membership requirements set by the CFA Institute.  It is also important to remember that you should not try to falsify any information and be transparent about your status whether that is a candidate or a CFA charterholder. 

How to share on LinkedIn for CFA Charterholders

If you are a CFA Charterholder with an active membership with the CFA Institute you may advertise your CFA designation on LinkedIn. 

To add your CFA designation on LinkedIn follow these steps:

  1. Log in to LinkedIn and select view profile
  2. In the license & certification section of your profile click the + button to add a new certification
    1. Name= “Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) Charterholder”
    2. Issuing organization= “CFA Institute”
    3. Select “This credential does not expire” if your membership is active
    4. Enter the month and year you received your charter into the Issue date field
    5. If you have claimed your digital badge, you may enter your digital badge URL into the Credential URL field
    6. Press save

How to share on LinkedIn for CFA Program Candidates

If you are a candidate in the CFA Program, you may advertise your candidate status on LinkedIn if you have passed an exam. 

To add your CFA Program Candidacy on LinkedIn follow these steps:

  1. Using a desktop, log in to LinkedIn and select view profile
  2. In the accomplishments section of your profile click the + button to add a new test score
    1. Test Name=Enter Level I, II, or III CFA exam
    2. Score=Enter “passed”
    3. Test Date=Enter the month and year you passed the exam
    4. Description=Enter the level you have completed.  For example “Passed Level II of the CFA Program.”
    5. Press save

To reference your CFA Program Candidacy for an upcoming exam on LinkedIn follow these steps:

  1. Using a desktop, log in to LinkedIn and select view profile
  2. In the accomplishments section of your profile click the + button to add a course
    1. Course Name=Enter Level I, II, or III CFA exam candidate
    2. Leave all other fields blank
    3. Press save

How to share CFA designation on Twitter

You can only include “CFA” after your name if your membership with the CFA Institute is active and in good standing.  

  • CFA should not be included in your Twitter handle.  For example, @JohnSmithCFA is not allowed.
  • CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst should only appear in your name field. 
  • If you are going to put CFA next to your name on Twitter, your name should be your legal name.
  • No aliases are allowed to be used as a name if planning to use the CFA designation.

How to share CFA designation on Facebook

You can only include “CFA” after your last name if your membership with the CFA Institute is active and in good standing.

  • CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst should only appear in your last name field.  For example, John Smith, CFA 
  • If you are going to put CFA next to your name on Facebook, your name should be your legal name.
  • No aliases are allowed to be used as a name if planning to use the CFA designation.

Why do CFA charterholders pay to remain a CFA member?

CFA charterholders pay to remain a CFA member with the CFA Institute to keep their CFA status active.  CFA charterholders must maintain ethical and professional standards set by the CFA Institute as well as participate in annual professional development requirements.  Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action or removal from CFA membership.

Can you get a job after passing CFA Level I?

Yes, it is possible that you could get a job after passing the Level I CFA exam. However, there is no publicly available information that shows whether passing the Level 1 CFA exam made any impact during the hiring.  What is clear is that passing all three CFA exams and becoming a CFA charterholder is likely to have a significant, positive impact on your career path.

Is taking the CFA worth it?

There are a lot of personal and industry factors to consider when deciding if taking the CFA is worth it for you.  Most financial analysts ask themselves this question at some point in their careers, which is why we have developed an entire article to help you decide if the CFA is really worth it for you.

Free eBook: Before You Decide to Sit for the CFA® Program Exam

Free eBook: CFA® Program Fundamentals, 2nd Edition

Ready to Pass the CFA® Exam?