In my role as Human Resource Specialist for a large software technology company, I am tasked with recruiting, interviewing and hiring new talent when the need arises. For example, we recently had an opening at my company for a Financial Analyst. The hiring manager requested we find an applicant with a bachelor’s degree in Finance/Accounting with strong Excel and analytical skills. Simple to fill, right? Not as easy as we originally thought.
After posting the opening on our company website, we received a huge influx of resumes; all with similar backgrounds and degrees. The resumes that caught our attention and rose to the top of the pile were those applicants who had completed certification courses after receiving their bachelor’s degree.
Certifications and additional trainings on your resume catch a hiring manager's attention! Especially if you have been in your job field for many years, continual learning and trainings show potential employers your eagerness to stay on top of industry changes and more.
There are a wide variety of certifications and role-specific trainings available. Some are industry specific and others are more general. Below is a small sample of a few of the certifications we came across during our recent hiring search.
- PMP: Project Management Professional
- CFA: Chartered Financial Analyst
- CSM: Certified Scrum Master
- CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate
- CISM: Certified Information Security Manager
If you are currently employed, check with your HR department to see if there is a tuition reimbursement policy or Continued Learning Assistance plan. Most employers recognize the benefits of having their staff obtain certifications and bring that new knowledge back to their team.
Whether you are looking to advance your current skill set or change careers, taking additional training and attaining certification is a personal investment that can give you a competitive edge in the workforce and increase your job prospects.