Certified Recruiter

The LinkedIn Certified Recruiter designation is the only LinkedIn Sponsored certification that certifies your ability for identifying and engaging talent effectively, building a pipeline of talent, and posting jobs using LinkedIn Recruiter. Learn more at http://certification.linkedin.com

  • Advice: Although this certification may sound tempting to seek, note that it requires at least 6 months utilizing the LinkedIn Recruiter feature. Therefore, you want to ensure that your organization is willing to purchase a paid subscription to the LinkedIn Recruiter feature. However, one of the key selling points is that you are able to have a "Certified" Badge on your LinkedIn profile which will help build your credibility.


Certified Employee Benefits Specialist

Since 1977, the CEBS certification is the considered on of the most widely respected credentials in the Benefits space. Its goal is to help individuals develop a comprehensive understanding of compensation and employee benefit principles and concept. Learn more at http://www.ifebp.org/CEBSDesignation/Overview/Pages/default.aspx


The Professional in Human Resources (PHR) & Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) are arguably the most widely recognized certifications in HR. Administered by the HR Certification Institute, PHR & SPHR certifies your mastery in HR operations, strategy, best practices and regulations in the U.S.. The highly sought after certifications help create a solid foundation for your future advancement. Other certifications offered are GPHR, HRMP, HRBP, PHR-CA and SPHR-CA. Visit the HR Certification Institute to learn more: www.hrci.org

  • Advice: Even though these are very popular certifications, you must have exempt level experience in order to qualify. This means being an HR Assistant does not qualify, you must be a position such as an HR Generalist or HR Manager. Therefore, obtain your SHRM-CP/SCP before your PHR & SPHR.


Certified Compensation Professional

The CCP shows that you understand how to integrate compensation programs with business strategy, design and administer base and variable pay programs, comply with legal and regulatory requirements, and effectively communicate compensation information. Visit WorldatWork to learn more: www.worldatwork.com

  • Advice: The CCP is a very specialized certification that require the successful passing of 10 exams which is recommending for only the extremely dedicated HR professional. Priced at nearly $10,000 the CCP usually is obtained by Compensation Analysts. You may want to wait on achieving this certification until your employer becomes a sponsor.


In 2015, the largest HR organization in world, SHRM, introduced new certifications to the industry, the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) & SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). These credentials are aligned to global business needs and more meaningfully linked to performance. The basis for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP is the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK) which describes the Behavioral Competencies and Functional Areas of Knowledge needed for effective job performance. Visit SHRM to learn more: www.shrmcertification.org

  • Advice: Obtain these certifications as soon as possible because your experience does not have to be at the exempt level, but instead can be non-exempt. In other words, your experience as an HR Assistant qualifies as experience, when the PHR & SPHR does not allow you to use that experience because they only allow exempt experience (HR Generalist/HR Manager, etc.)

Many people don't know that there are many certifications available. Which one to choose? It really depends on the specialty of HR you plan to go to. For example, if you plan to be a Generalist, then the PHR and SHRM-CP would suit you. If you plan to be in Compensation, then you may want the CCP. If you plan to be in training, then the CPLP would be the one to get. Browse the list below and begin your journey to certification!

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The Many Ways to Certify

Now that you have the work experience, its time to get certified as an HR Professional. You may think that its not necessary. But, when employers are choosing between two final candidates for an HR Manager position, guess which candidate they will choose? An HR certification distinguishes you from the rest. Below are some information on the various HR certifications available.

Randy, MS

Writer of HR Career Advice.com

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I really hoped you enjoyed reading HR Career Advice.com. My goal is to help you succeed in the field of HR. Yes, its hard to begin, but trust me, after spending 5 years practicing HR, I can tell you its one of the most rewarding fields I have been in. You not only "help people" but you help people succeed to their highest potential and become better contributors and performers to the organization as whole. Together, lets motivate employees, one at a time!

If you would like personalized career advice for HR, I would be happy to help! I also help with editing your resume, cover letter, mock job interview, and even meeting you in person. Learn more below!

Everybody needs a little bit of help - and what better way then to join a community of similar professionals in your industry! What many professionals don't know is that LinkedIn also has a "Groups" feature where communities develop of professionals. For HR, there are tons of groups out there. However, we recommend joining our own group called the "HR Career Advice Group" which is moderated by Randy Aung, the creator of HR Career Advice.com. Join today! Its free! As a group member you will receive updates on this website and updates on the latest trends and best practices in HR! Over 100 members have joined, join today: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/HR-Career-Advice-4324333

Classroom Learning
Exam preparation classes can be found on-campus at many reputable educational institutions like UCLA Extension, Cal State Dominguez Hills Extension, and at your local university. Working professionals will appreciate evening classes and learning from experienced instructors who work in the field of HR.

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Certified Labor Relations Professional

The Labor Relations Academy Certification Program (CLRP®), is an innovative teaching program designed specifically for public sector labor relations and human resources professionals who are new to the field, as well as for experienced practitioners seeking additional training. Labor Relations is the study of negotiating and managing union relationships in your workplace. Learn more: https://www.airsdirectory.com/mc/training_certification.guid 

  • Advice: If you plan to be employed in a union environment, the CLRP would provide credibility to your resume. Some people think unions are a thing of the past, but they are still very prevalent in today's workplace. Dealing with unions is much different than non-union environments. Learn more today.


Professional Certified Coach

The Professional Certified Coach (PCC) is not a common certification, but as coaching becomes more needed in corporate environments, so does the certification. Certified coaches demonstrate not only knowledge and skill, but also a commitment to high professional standards and a strong code of ethics. Learn more: http://coachfederation.org/credential/landing.cfm?ItemNumber=2202&navItemNumber=745

  • Advice: Coaching may not seem like its needed in an organization, but often time department managers and high potential employees need to be coached to more effective in their jobs. I would recommend this certification if you are interesting in developing the next generation leaders in your organization.

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Randy, M.S., SHRM-CP

Author of HR Career Advice.com

Masters Degree, HR, May 2014

Certification, HR, May 2015​​​


Certified Payroll Professional

Although payroll was originally considered a technical skill, today payroll has become a professional discipline. The CCP certifies individuals in all aspects of taxation and tax reporting, MIS, human resources (including benefits), and accounting as each of these relate to the payroll environment. Learn more: http://www.americanpayroll.org/certification-2/

  • Advice: The CPP is very widely recognized, however it does require at least 3 years of specialized payroll experience. Consider taking the FPC, which doesn't require any experience at all. However please note that Payroll is a very technical field and therefore CPP and FPC certifications are not commonly attained by HR Managers.

Choose a Service That Fits Your Needs

Once your attain your certification, it is important to recertify in order to maintain your certification. Recertifying is more than just a requirement, it will help you stay abreast of new research, trends, and best practices. It will increase your value in your organization and you will remain more marketable than other candidates. Most importantly, staying certified will refine your knowledge, skills, and abilities in order to perform effectively and adapt to changes in the work environment. Look for these symbols next to courses and seminars available in your area. Here is a few ways to recertify:

  • Local Organization Meetings
  • Educational Webinars
  • Certification Preparation Courses
  • Conference Attendance
  • Skill-building Seminars
  • Article Reviewer
  • Advisory Board Participation
  • Supervisor Work Endorsed Projects
  • Volunteer Leadership
  • Speaking at Conference
  • And Much More!

Prepare for Your HR Exams

e-Learning by Instructor
What if you want a blend of learning styles? e-Learning provides that luxury where you can benefit from an instructor led course online at a scheduled time AND at home study materials to review taught material at your own pace. Vendors like the Employers Group now provide e-Learning for the SHRM-SCP/CP exams.

Self Learning
If you prefer to study at home without an instructor, then many book and CD materials are available. For the SHRM-CP/SCP, there is the SHRM Learning System. For the SPHR/PHR, there are third party vendors. Get started today!


Certified Professional in

Learning and Performance

The CPLP certification demonstrates your mastery in the Talent Development specialty of HR. It is based on the ATD Competency model of key areas of expertise such as instructional design, change management, and performance improvement. Learn more: http://www.td.org/certification

  • Advice: The CPLP requires five years experience in designing learning programs or delivering training for your organization. Not many HR departments provide opportunities to do this. Even more, it requires a submission of a work project. Therefore, more HR Specialists in training may be more suitable for this certification.

I passed the SHRM-CP Exam in May 2015 and I would like to share my success story on how to pass the exam. Please note that these tips do not include any confidential information about the actual exam such as the content of the test questions as we agree not to share this information. Instead, these tips are general preparation tips. Just finished the SHRM-CP exam May 2 at a Prometic test site in Diamond Bar, CA. I used the SHRM Learning System and the SHRM instructor Led course at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Both of these methods indeed helped me prepare!


  • Find a local school in your area that offers the SHRM Certification preparation course.The course will COME WITH the SHRM Learning System together with the course fee. Attend the classes weekly and participate and stay engaged. I took my prep class at Cal State Dominguez HIlls and it was very informative and engaging! Visit http://www.shrm.org/certification/learning/options/pages/partners.aspx and click your state to learn about the different education partners.
  • Before you start studying take a MOCK FULL LENGTH Pre-test on www.learnhrm.com (password given after purchase)
  • Then, Study at home at least once a week. YOU MUST READ THE MATERIAL. Don't just think sitting in class will prepare you. Read word by word. I read almost all the books word by word and I already have my MASTERS! However I always learn more things everytime I read. While ready, make fake flash cards using the website http://www.kitzkikz.com/flashcards/ but of course put your notes in a word document and transfer to the website later.
  • THEN, login to http://www.learnhrm.com with the password they give you with the purchase of the books. Take the assessment questions after completing each module
  • THEN, Print out the flash cards for each module from the website.
  • Study using the Flash Cards you created from the website PLUS the Flash Cards you use from taking notes.
  • When you finish, take the MOCK POST test and time yourself. This is a full length test.
  • This is the best way study because you cover all bases (1) auditory learning in class (2) detailed learning thru reading (3) repetition thru flash cards. This three step process can help you.


You can also study only using the SHRM Learning System

  • You still get 2 Full Length tests
  • You still get flash cards
  • However you will not get the benefit from auditory and group learning from in-class sessions. Keep in mind that the makers of the SHRM learning system do not have access to test questions, so all the MOCK tests are "estimated" questions that they will ask, but better than nothing.

On the Day of the Test

When selecting a test center make sure you go to one you know! I took many tests at the Prometric one in Diamond Bar, California its great and peaceful! Be sure to take advantage of the STRIKE OUT FEATURE when marking possible answers out so they do not show anymore. Also be careful with the SJT (Situational Judgement Test Questions) there is the "best answer" and the "partial good answer", so make sure you read the HR Competencies module well because SJTs rely heavily on competencies and the SHRM-BoCk.

Choosing SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP

Be careful choosing between SHRM-CP and SCP exams, even though you qualify for both. The SCP is MORE questions in the SAME AMOUNT OF TIME, and even more SJTs, which are very time consuming. Plus it focuses more on the Strategy Module whereas CP focuses more on administration.

How to Pass the SHRM-CP Exam

Let Us Know What You Think

As an aspiring HR Professional, learning is continuous and happens everyday. If you plan to get a certification either your SPHR, PHR, SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, CCP, etc. its wise to start preparing for your exams early. You can seek preparation thru classroom learning, self learning, or e-Learning by Instructor.


Certified Internet Recruiter

The Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) designation is the most widely recognized professional standard for modern-day talent acquisition. The CIR focuses on  passive candidate searches using all aspects of the latest recruitment strategies including internet sourcing, social sourcing, and professional networking recruiting tactics. Learn more: https://www.airsdirectory.com/mc/training_certification.guid 

  • Advice: There are not many recruiting certifications out there, so a CIR is helpful. You only need to attend one online course for 1 day and take the exam at the end of the course to obtain a CIR. Therefore, evaluate its credibility on your resume when justifying the nearly $1,000 course fee.

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Continue Reading HR Career Advice.com

In the next section, learn about how to succeed in HR. Yes, you may have an education, work, and a certification, but how do you continue to climb the corporate HR ladder? How you do continue to stand out from the crowd? The secrets are revealed in the next section.

What's Next?


Human Resource Information Professional

The HR Information Professional is geared toward HRIS Analysts. Sponsored by the International Association for HR Information Management founded in 1980, this exam is designed to assess the knowledge and competencies of professionals in the HR technology field. Passing the exam indicates a demonstrated comprehensive understanding and
proficiency of the defined body of knowledge in HR information management. Learn more: http://ihrim.org/Certification_Overview.html  

  • Advice: The HRIP Certification is not commonly pursued by HR Generalists, therefore having this certification will distinguish you from everyone else. As HR leaders become more dependent on HR metrics and analytics, HRIS is becoming a much more respected field.
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