What Employers Say a Certification Adds to Resumes

Students have a lot of decisions to make, and many of them have nothing to do with academic schedules, housing arrangements, and personal finances. The choices those seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees make have a lot of impact on their professional prospects. Fortunately, one of the most beneficial choices you can make often happens in parallel to or after one’s degree studies. Wondering what that choice may be? It’s getting a professional certification

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 37 million employed individuals ages 16 and older held certifications or licenses in 2020. But why certification is important for professionals reaches beyond the fact that many people have them. In this article, we’ll list seven things employers say that certifications add to resumes.

Employer reviewing a resume

#1: Validation of Knowledge

It’s one thing to say that you comprehend a subject or know how to work a process. But CEOs and entry-level employees alike understand personal testimonials and actual reality don’t always intersect. A potential hire’s purported expertise with a certain software suite or a field of knowledge or how to properly perform specific professional tasks doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she can actually execute in an acceptable manner. 

Professional certifications help solve that problem. Indeed, as we discuss this, it helps to ask, “What are professional certifications?” Certifications are a means of credentialing issued by independent organizations requiring various degrees of experience and achievement. These organizations all have their own reputations, applicants need different levels of prior achievement to apply, and offer tests or career requirements of varying difficulty levels. 

By familiarizing itself with the certifying organization, the employer can quickly know the capabilities of certified applicants. This often leads to faster hirings and greater institutional confidence in the hired individual. 

#2: Increased Marketability  

Because certifications let employers know about the knowledge an applicant possess, potential hires enjoy an advantage over those lacking certifications. In some industries, it’s almost essential. A 2012 survey conducted by the Microsoft Certification Program found that nine out of 10 hiring managers worldwide explicitly referenced their certification programs when seeking new applicants, and a recent Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report discovered that 94 percent of decision makers claimed that certified employees contributed value in excess of the cost of their certifications. The answer is clear: Certified applicants are more desirable applicants. 

#3: Enhanced Performance

It’s natural for employers to notice the organizational benefits of certifications. However, they will also admit that they offer personal benefits for employees. When asking, “What are the benefits of certification?” it’s wise to note that employees enjoy numerous psychological benefits, such as greater confidence. Certification holders know the professional standards they and their teams should meet. They understand what they have to do to meet them. And they’re able to execute them more consistently. This leads to employees who are more satisfied with their work and more likely to remain at a position for a longer period. 

#4: Improved Reputation

Any kind of achievement carries a certain prestige, and professional certifications are no different. While they tend to help immeasurably with job-related tasks for which they’re specifically designed, they also offer other benefits — some of which are interpersonal. In addition to some of the topics that we’ve already mentioned, credential holders enjoy benefits such as a competitive edge, a wider and deeper knowledge pool, and a degree of independent public recognition. Everyone instantly knows something professionally positive about you when seeing that you possess a certain certification. 

However, people who hold certain certifications also generally enjoy improved reputations. Any certification worth its proverbial salt has a degree of rigor to it. Those who manage to get one have achieved something of worth — and everyone knows it. Once you’ve completed the necessary academic prerequisites, finished the professional requirements, successfully taken any academic tests, and actually received your professional certification, you have done something impressive, and your reputation will benefit from it. 

#5: Enhanced Credibility

Let’s say you find yourself at odds with a client or an equally ranking team member within your organization. Suppose that the disagreement has occurred over a technical matter and failing to win the individual over could lead to substantial delays. Those in technical fields know that this isn’t such an uncommon situation. Consider this though: Is the client more likely to respect the opinion of a certified employee or one who is self-taught? 

Self-taught people may study all of the same materials, have an equal working knowledge, and be able to communicate just as well as those who have certifications. But certifications show that someone unconnected with employees’ organizations have judged them competent, and that carries weight. What is a certification? Many employers would say that it’s a way to bolster and enhance employee credibility.  

#6: Higher Passion About Career

We’ve already mentioned several of the advantages that certified employees have over uncertified ones, but one you might find surprising is that employers say certified employees have more passion about their careers. It sounds strange, yet actually makes sense when you think about it. Certified employees have greater job security due to their advanced skills. They tend to excel at their work and thus get promoted more often. 

In previous sections, we’ve discussed how they receive greater respect and possess more credibility. They enjoy additional networking opportunities above and beyond uncredentialed employees. And they often see substantial pay increases over time. No wonder certified professionals have open enthusiasm for the work that they do! 

#7: Better Coordination with Peers

Professionally certified employees know what needs to get done — and their coworkers know that they know! Few things frustrate as deeply as finding oneself stuck on a team that simply can’t achieve its required task. That doesn’t happen as often with certified employees, and there are several reasons why. 

First, certified employees have a thorough understanding of the subject matter with which they need to interact. The fact that they can successfully complete technical tasks means they’re more pleasant to work with. Second, due to their increased professional connections, they likely have people in their network they can call upon when they bump up against issues they can’t resolve on their own. Third, they can often serve as just those sorts of people when their coworkers run into challenging issues. In short, they possess everything they need in order to work better with their peers, and their presence often makes the company environment more pleasant for everyone. 

If you’re considering a career as an environmental professional, NREPSM can help you get the certifications you need. For more than 25 years, we’ve helped professionals in the environmental and organizational safety fields excel. We’re the largest accrediting organization in our fields and are recognized by the United States Department of Energy and United States Environmental Protection Agency. We count more than 15,000 individuals as our members. Read more about our credentialling programs today!