8 Best Human Resources Certifications That Look Great On A Resume

When applying for a job in human resources, it is important that you customize your resume to not only suit the job description, but also to stand out from all the other candidates. Chances are, there may be individuals who have just as much experience or comparable skill sets, but you can really stand out from the crowd if you have some valuable certifications on your side.

With so many different programs to choose from, it can be difficult to identify which certifications are the most in-demand or highly regarded. That is why we asked eight human resource experts what programs really stand out to them when they are reviewing resumes. Keep reading to determine which certification should be next on your list!

People Analytics (PAHR)

People Analytics seem to have been the talk of HR for several years now, and for good reason. Executives care about trends and stats within the workforce. Analytics foster better hiring decisions, which has an impact on the bottom line. Human Capital Institute (HCI) offers a PAHR certification. NYU offers a certificate in People Analytics. Wharton offers a free People Analytics course through Coursera. Any of these courses or certifications would help differentiate a Human Resources resume, and communicate that you are a data-driven HR professional.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

CQ and Unconscious Bias Certification

I recommend unconscious bias training and Cultural Intelligence (CQ) certifications (such as from the Cultural Intelligence Center) for HR professionals that are passionate about improving intercultural collaboration, especially in a diverse organization. Having these certifications will allow you to equip your people, especially team leads and hiring managers, on how to create a work environment that is tolerant and globally-minded.

Philip Botha, Culture Advantage

Associate Professional in HR (aPHR)

For entry-level HR professionals, receiving your aPHR, or Associate Professional in Human Resources certification, from HRCI can make you stand out from others seeking entry-level positions. Because certifications are few and far between for those who have not been in their careers for long, gaining this certification definitely shows your dedication to the field.

Dan Reck, MATClinics

Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP)

This is one of the most recognized of HR certifications. The CPLP shows a candidate’s effort to be a part of a larger organization and network of professionals. It also shows a dedication to continued learning and development.

Jon Schneider, Recruiterie

Society of Human Resource Management – Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)

The SHRM-CP is helpful for all those in HR and for advanced HR professionals, the SHRM-SCP is a must. This certification sets itself apart from others by not only measuring knowledge in all HR competencies, it also measures your hands-on knowledge in the application of those competencies. Employers can have the confidence that their HR representative has the knowledge they need and knows how to apply it to the real world.

Sonja Talley, AZ SHRM

Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)

The certification offered by HRCI (SPHR, PHR) is one of the most recognized by HR leaders. Depending on your area of specialty, such as benefits or compensation, professional associations may offer these certifications. Certification in related areas, such as using the MBTI or Predictive Index, can also give an HR pro a leg up compared to other candidates.

Colleen McManus, Senior Consultant

Project Management Certifications

Often the best way an HR professional can differentiate him or herself is to pursue learning outside the HR toolbox. You can take your project management skills to the next level via a PMP certification, upgrade your analytical chops with a deep dive on Excel, or rise through the ranks at your local Toastmasters to enhance your speaking skills. It’s always good to sharpen the saw, but sometimes the job calls for an Allen wrench.

Tim Toterhi, Plotline Leadership

Second Language

Many of the best HR pros will have similar certifications such as PHR and SHRM-CP. However, a certification that will truly differentiate you is official documentation on a second language. Learning languages is correlated with developing empathy, and also leads to more effective communication. A certification in learning a language also shows professionalism and an aptitude for continued education.

Michael Alexis, Teambuilding