I've won few declamation competitions during my school days. I used to refer to them on my resume but recently I realized that I've lost the certificates which were the only proof I had. I'm a fresher (newbie) so I only have a few things to show to prove my talent

So my question is: Should I refer to those events for which I don't any proof, in my resume?

Note: I don't think I can get a copy of these from anywhere.

To broaden the question it may also apply to other (more) important certificates that are not reproducible.

  • Why so many downvotes ? Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 10:34
  • What is a "fresher"?
    – Neo
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 12:09
  • "I'm a fresher so I got a few things to show my talent"
    – Neo
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 12:11
  • 2
    Fresher means I don't have experience as an employee. Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 12:12
  • 3
    "Fresher" has become a region-specific term in it's use and origin, I think solely used in India to indicate someone new to the workforce, which I believe is descended from British slang for a freshman. It's not a very familiar term outside of India, and it's use has not made it into English dictionaries, so even a quick Google/dictionary search doesn't help people much. The term isn't 'wrong' or anything - it's just that non-Indian English speakers aren't familiar with it. I only learned it from Stack Exchange questions asked by people from India :)
    – BrianH
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 19:43

4 Answers 4


In general, resumes often have things on them that are difficult to verify. Unless they are so suspicious or odd that they will draw negative attention, or tend to make someone want to challenge it and ask for proof, it's perfectly fine to put it on the resume if it is relevant for the job you are applying for. I've done this myself, so it's not idle speculation.

As an example, I once finished top 10 in a competitive speaking competition at my college. I figured it shows that I would tend to give good presentations, so I listed it (and it remains on my academic CV, as there is no length restrictions on those). I never even got a certificate, though, and was only told the results in person - only the top 3 got any kind of prizes or certifications, and it never occurred to me to care. It would be even stranger to ask for proof of that though - it doesn't seem like a particularly grand claim.

As you get older and gain experience, especially when dealing with length restrictions like on resumes (where 1-2 pages is a pretty hard limit for most positions), they will tend to "age off" and it no longer is worth the space to mention it.


What is your profession and why should your employer care about these competitions? How old are you now? I do not think that most employers would a) care about the competitions and b) never think of requesting a certificate. And losing a piece of paper from years ago happens to everyone so it's also no problem if you can't deliver one for every of your competitions you competed in many years ago.

  • I'm a fresher so I don't have much of technical experience to boast about on my resume (I used to refer them to show my communication skills and my competitive abilities). Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 8:30

These aren't academic qualifications that can be verified. Therefore the loss of the certificates shouldn't matter. Still list them on your resume.

  • Yes a kind of competitive oratory. Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 8:38
  • But it's not an actual qualification though, is it? These things are more supplementary than the main reason they would employ you I think. I'm guessing if they were "super important", then replacements would be available. Could you not refer to the school? I'm guessing they would at least be able to confirm if you won them, if not replacing the certificate Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 8:42
  • No I don't think so they have the record of that. Moreover they are not that helpful to their pass outs . I agree with you on that being supplementary but that's all I have to show ? Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 8:51
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    If they aren't official, a certificate means nothing. You could easily create one yourself if you so wished. If they aren't recorded or logged, then the certificate itself holds little value. Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 10:09
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    How does my original answer not answer the question? I have said that he shouldn't worry about them as they can't really be verified. Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 10:58

I would take a chance and list them.

If your asked to show them, at that time you can say they have been lost. In the meantime, try if at all possible to retain a copy of the certificates.

You have to take chances sometimes to get your foot in the door. ( get your first job )

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