Have you ever looked at a job advertisement and thought ‘this is perfect for me’ then you get to the bit where it says you need a qualification? If you haven’t yet, you probably will. While there is no doubt there are plenty of jobs and employers that don’t ask for formal qualifications, they are becoming more and more rare.
Yet we still get asked time and time again if being certified actually gets you more jobs. The short answer is yes.
Being certified expands your eligibility for more job openings
Those jobs we were just talking about that ask for qualifications. Well, when you are certified in your trade you immediately increase the amount of job opportunities you are eligible to apply for. It won’t necessarily mean you’ll get it - but it does mean you won’t be rejected simply because you aren’t certified.
Increasing the percentage of jobs you’re an eligible candidate for naturally means you’re likely to get more of the jobs you’re looking for.
Certification sets you apart from the competition
Even for the jobs that don’t explicitly ask for certification, having it can increase your chances of being successful as it sets you apart from the competition. If there are multiple candidates with similar experience and skill levels, often a certification will set you apart as the preferred candidate. There are a couple of reasons for this:
1. It can save your employer training and certification costs
Some employers will need their teams to be qualified for insurance and licensing reasons. If you’ve already got your skills certified it can save them money.
2. It gives credibility to your skills and experience
Without a certification your employer needs to trust your word and the word of your referees that you’ve got the skills you need to do the job. While there are of course always exceptions to the rule, generally speaking hiring someone who has received certification is a safer bet for employers.
Not all certifications are created equal
While being certified can definitely help you get more jobs, not all certificates are created equal and you have to weigh up the cost and time of getting certified. Recognition of Prior Learning, or RPL, is a great way to open up new opportunities through certification of your existing skills and experience.
Before you commit to courses or expensive learning options do your research. Look at the jobs you want and see what certifications they are asking for. If you already have the right skills and experience, then explore RPL as a way to get certified. If not, consider working towards building the skills and experience you’ll need in your current job and work toward RPL down the line.