Today, the job market is more competitive than ever, especially for people just getting started in a new field. Job applicants need to have an incredibly competitive resume to be seriously considered for their desired position.
This can seem disheartening at first. If you need work, but you’re truly a novice in your field, what can you do to make your applications stand out from the competition?
One of the most important components for a strong resume is an industry certification. This is an award earned through a specialized examination that proves that you are knowledgeable about your industry. It tells employers you possess the specific skills required to perform a certain job.
Here are four kinds of industry certifications that can help you build your resume and unlock new career opportunities.
1. Microsoft Office Certification
This is a relatively basic certification that proves that the applicant has advanced proficiency in using Microsoft Office software programs such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It is a useful certification to have if you work in an office setting or a large part of the job you are applying for involves using these programs.
The certifications can be obtained by taking each relevant examination at an approved testing center. Certifications for each program are awarded separately. More details about the certification process and exam registration can be found on Microsoft’s website.
2. Safety Instrumented Systems
You may want to consider obtaining a certification in learning relevant safety instrumented systems if you’re willing to work in a hazardous environment.
Demonstrating an intimate knowledge of the safety features and precautions in potentially volatile working environments can give you an advantage when applying for jobs, as employers will always prefer to hire someone who does not present a personal safety risk.
Industries that have a demand for employees with safety instrumented systems training include:
- Oil & Gas
- Mining & Metals
- Research and Development Labs
- Industrial & Process Automation
- Power Generation and Distribution
3. Foreign Language Certification
If your career goals involve working with a foreign language, either as a translator, interpreter, or foreign language instructor, we recommended obtaining a foreign language certification for the language of your choice. You may also be applying for a job in which knowledge of a second language is considered a relevant skill, and this certification will boost your resume.
Language proficiency tests are specific to each language. Common examinations are the following:
- SIELE (Servicio Internacional de Evaluación de la Lengua Española) for Spanish
- ALPT (Arabic Language Proficiency Test) for Arabic
4. Contractor’s License
This one isn’t a certification exam per se, but it is a document obtained via examination to help you along your career path.
If you are interested in working as an independent contractor, meaning you can accept project-based work from numerous clients on a short-term contract basis, you will need to obtain a contractor’s license.
Contractors can work in any conceivable field but are most often associated with construction. Becoming a contractor is a great way to make yourself available to work while maintaining your own flexibility and independence.
An Internet search will easily bring up a myriad of options for contractor’s license examinations.
Building a competitive resume can seem like a daunting task. However, remember that applicants with relevant certifications are more likely to be hired over those who don’t because employers know from the certifications that they are a qualified candidate. With the right industry certifications under your belt, you’re sure to make a good impression on a potential employer. So what are you waiting for? Register for your certification exam today!