I know that the typical answer to "should I include hobbies/other activities on my resume" is no. However, I've also heard that many companies like to have medically trained employees, and in some non-medical fields, including CPR certification on your resume is common if not expected.

In my field (software engineering), however, the certification is at best tangentially related to my job, depending on the type of software my company writes.

Should I include my EMT certification on my resume?

  • 18
    Side note - a lot of big cube farms have a certified first aid person in each... barn of cubes? I don't know the term. Anyway, many manufacturing oriented companies are super big into safety, and having a real EMT on your staff seems like a big win to me.
    – corsiKa
    Mar 27, 2017 at 7:31
  • 8
    "I know that the typical answer to "should I include hobbies/other activities on my resume" is no." I don't know what the consensus here is, but personally I think you should include hobbies and interests on a CV, a small section at the end can give an idea of the person which is very important.
    – Tom Bowen
    Mar 27, 2017 at 8:12
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    @BoundaryImposition I'm guessing OP is in the US. I've never seen a resume here that includes a hobby/activities section unless the candidate was a student or recent grad with little to no experience. Its a filler on those, and the expectation is that what's in there can in some abstract way be related to the position.
    – senschen
    Mar 27, 2017 at 11:20
  • 4
    @BoundaryImposition But where is over here?
    – TripeHound
    Mar 27, 2017 at 13:06
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    @corsiKa The collective noun is "a 'despair' of cubicles". Mar 27, 2017 at 15:21

4 Answers 4


Should I include my EMT certification on my resume?


While it's unlikely to be of much help for a software engineer, it couldn't hurt. And it might help make you more "interesting".

I agree that including hobbies on your resume isn't a great idea. (I've seen too many "I like to play games" hobbies on resumes.) But a certification is something a bit different. It demonstrates a real achievement and is unlikely to be off-putting to any interviewer.

If you do choose to include your certification, be prepared to talk about your EMT experience during an interview. Make sure that the interviewer understands that any continued EMT involvement won't take away from your primary work. Or if you need to take time away from work to maintain your certification, make sure that is understood and agreed to by the hiring manager.


Software engineering is a field where you are ten times more valuable if you know something else IN ADDITION to software engineering. Specifically, the domain you are working in.

If you have an EMT certification (and I am assuming your state is like mine, where my wife progressed from Basic to EMT to Paramedic), this tells me that you are capable of learning something else, too. I'd pull your resume off "the pile" and put you in for a phone interview on this, alone.

Of course, you're not applying to my company, and I can't speak for others...

  • 7
    I visited this Q to write pretty much the same answer, so +1. Having EMT cert isn't just a sign of having a line on a resume. It's a sign that you committed to reasonably difficult training in a useful-to-humanity field and stuck with it - it tells me more about one's character than several inane HR type "what are your strengths" questions.
    – user13655
    Mar 27, 2017 at 15:57

Whether it will hurt you or help you depends a lot on how you include it.

EMT training is irrelevant to your ability to program. This should be obvious.

If you include it in such a way that it seems that you don't know that, or are confused about its relative importance—such as by putting it first in your list of qualifications—then it's a mark against you.

If you have a list of certifications you've obtained and you include "EMT training," at or near the bottom of the list, that's fine—a good thing.

Just don't be confused about its relative importance. It shows you have an ability to learn new skills and aren't "stuck in a rut." Which is good, so long as you don't appear "scattered all over the map" with no ability to focus or differentiate importance. Those are the two extremes you should avoid.

  • 4
    Good point. I have it as the last item of my "Certifications" section, which is the very last on my resume.
    – Ben
    Mar 27, 2017 at 10:19
  • @Ben then I'd say you've included it perfectly, and you should leave it in.
    – Wildcard
    Mar 27, 2017 at 22:37

It may well be that an employer is required (or at least advised) to have a number of trained first aiders on site. However, I'd never make a decision to hire a software engineer based on whether the candidate had that training - I'll always hire the better software engineer and then if necessary train somebody as a first aider.

My take would therefore be to leave it off, and use the space to include some information which would make me more likely to hire you instead.

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