Reference of the CFA Examinations on CV - Violation

Hi guys. I have passed the Level 1 CFA Examination of June 2013 on my first attempt, scoring in each individual subject more than 70%.

I am now updating my CV and I would like to hear your thoughts on the following three issues:

  1. I am thinking of including my involvement in the CFA Program in the “Education” Section. Do you believe that this is appropriate?

  2. I am generally using the following format in the “Education” Section:

  • 2010-2011: University College London (UK)
  • MSc in Finance (grade: “ Distinction ”)
  • Awarded with XXX Prize…

i.e., the first line is in bold (indicating the country of the college), the second line (which the bullet is alligned with the first letter of the above line-cannot do it here) is non bold (the grade is in bold) and another two lines non bold (again the allignment that appears here is not the one I used).

Using the same formatting:

  • CFA Institute (US)
  • Passed Level I Examination ( First Attempt )
  • The CFA Program is a globally recognized … etc
  • Scored the highest band (>70%) in each of the ten topics tested
  • Global Pass Ratio of the June 2013 Level I Examination : 38%

a. In your opinion, the FORMATTING (not the wording) violates the rules?

b. In your opinion, by indicating my score bands and the pass rate, am I violating the rules?

c. Is the reference to the CFA Institute and US violating the rules? (I am just doing it to be consistent with my MSc and BSc).

Thank you very much.

I can’t find source but I remember reading somewhere it’s not wise to say your score band. 70% is as explicit as CFAI will say but 70% still sounds bad to anyone who’s not intimiately familiar with the marking scheme. Personally, I wouldn’t even say I passed L1 on my first attempt. If you pass all 3 tests on first try, then it’s worth mentioning but passing L1 first attempt is not a big deal.

I also wouldn’t explain CFA program. Either the hiring manager will know it or he won’t. Writing about it won’t change their minds and it seems like you were trying to fill space.

I also wouldn’t write the global pass ratio. If the hiring manager knows about CFA exams then he already has a good idea. If he doesn’t, then 38% will seem rather high for someone not familiar with the program.

I would not put anything other than “passed Level 1”. Just state the facts. Everything else is all a bunch of filler garbage.

Here’s my take:

“Passed Level 1 on first attempt” - sounds full of himself

“Scored in the highest band in all topics tested” - sounds like a real DB

“Only 38% passed–and I’m one of them” - So you’re in the top 38%. Big fn deal.

“CFA is globally recognized…blah blah blah” - Either I know what CFA is (and I don’t need you to tell me) or I don’t care what it is (and I don’t want to hear it).

Valid comments from both of you. Noted and highly appreciated…

Despite being regarded as a masters-level equivalent, I would not put it in the education section. I would put it in Memberships/Certifications/Whatever You Call That Section on Your Resume section, and would just put CFA Institute (Passed CFA Level 1 Exam - June 2013). When you register for L2, I would change it to (CFA Level 2 Candidate).

I think it sounds very petty, to try to look smarter or get extra brownie points by stating anything more than “passed Level I”.

First of all, if your employer is looking for a CFA candidate, they don’t need your explanation for “The CFA Program is a globally recognized…”, and if they are NOT looking for a CFA candidate, they are unlikely to be wow by your overly descriptive achievement.

Honestly, at the end of the day, you have only passed 1/3 exams, it really shouldn’t take you more than ONE LINE to describe your situation.

Show some confidence and just state it in a simple, precise manner.


Putting anything on your resume related to your score is extraneous at best.

Yeah, don’t say “passed on first attempt” on your resume. It comes across as if you need to milk it for every last drop of usefulness. If they ask in the interview, you can let it slide “that you were happy that you passed on the first try,” but wait to be asked.

Also agree with others that people will either know the CFA, or they are unlikely to care. The one thing that might mitigate that is that you list your home country as Greece, where asset management may not be quite as professionalized.


“Candidate for Level II in the CFA Program” is all that should be there IMO.

I saw a Linked in profile in the education section:

CFA Institute Level 1 passed, Level 2 passed, Level 3 pending, CFA 2008 – 2013



I wouldn’t bold random words/bullet points on a resume

He’s technically not a candidate until he registers for L2.

Since I’m just a candidate for L1, I won’t presume to know much about how the title works like the rest of the guys here. Still here are my two cents:

As far as I know, the only thing you CAN write is ‘CFA L2 candidate’ nothing more or less. If you haven’t registered yet, I guess you can write ‘CFA L1 passed’, but I might be wrong on this one. Trying to sugarcoat your achievement by adding stuff like passed on first attempt, scored >70% etc makes you sound like a Dbag. If your employer is aware of the designation, he will value it. If he doesn’t know anything about CFA, he most likely wont give a damn.

You can try to mention some of those points in you interview in a mater-of-factly way, but putting all that in your resume makes it look as if you are just trying to fill up space.


it’s like saying “top of the class from Gr 7-8”, or “Scored 98% on Spanish 12” on your resume… why??? honestly people don’t care, just state the fact and move on!

Eh, I agree you shouldn’t say you passed L1 on the first attempt, but it’s pretty impressive to pass all three the first time. That puts you in the top 5 or 6% of charterholders.

it is, but bragging it on your resume takes away all your credits…

and the OP only passed ONE exam for the first time, i hardly find that an accomplishment worth putting on the resume.

lol praytell, how? newsflash: your entire resume is about you bragging about your accomplishments; the only question is whether the accomplishment is worth bragging about, and you and i both agree that passing all three levels on the first attempt is damn impressive.

Is it? or is it just an ego thing?

I think it’s “impressive” but so is getting the main role in drama club, is it worth putting on your resume?

I am not saying you can’t be proud of it, but if it’s such a big accomplishment in your life that you want to put it on your resume, i really don’t know how well the rest of your credentials look.

IMHO. :slight_smile: