A friend and colleague, Bill Bentley, writes about the use of professional certifications in the recruiting industry.
I had a long talk with a senior IT professional in Chicago last week expressing his deep frustration that despite his long and distinguished professional career, he could not get interviews without certain certifications despite being able to teach the topics himself.
Many of you looking for jobs are facing the same problem whether you know it or not. Certifications are being used to screen out candidates because of the huge numbers of applicants. An $8/hr person or worse, a computer program, is being used to scan resumes into the little pile that the hiring manager will look at and the big pile that gets thrown away.
Certifications which are being used A LOT for this purpose are Six Sigma, Lean, PMP and increasingly in the IT field, ITIL. In some cases the companies truly want these skills but in many cases they are nothing more than `wish list’ skills and objective facts that can be easily used by the resume screener for sorting.
If the jobs that you look at have these topics listed in the job descriptions you can be quite sure that without them, your resume is much more likely to end up in the big pile than the little pile. …
So do you really need that certification just to get the job? Often an organization is trying to upgrade its bench strength by requiring certification, but how do you know it’s not just a charade and a meaningless recruiting filter. Maybe you want to be sure your prospective employer is serious, and that might take some digging and fortitude to be able to walk away from a company that’s just pretending.