PHR / SPHR Exam For Dummies
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The choice to become PHR/SPHR certified is often quite personal. Although directly related to your professional development, it’s a personal achievement that distinguishes you in your industrial community. The feeling of pride and accomplishment that successful certification will bring is legitimate — you worked hard! The impact of certification reaches beyond just the documentation of your talent though. In a survey of top organizations, HRCI discovered that

  • Fifty percent of the companies use certification status to decide whom to interview for open HR positions.

  • Forty-eight percent of the companies believed that having certified HR talent within their ranks gave them an edge over the competition.

  • Fifty percent said that certified HR professionals are more knowledgeable and motivated, and they perform better than their uncertified peers.

This information is quite important for you when it comes time to leverage your new credentials to impact your salary, because it demonstrates the value of your certification to businesses.

Communicating your success is the first step on the path to leveraging your success. In fact, if you’re anything like the thousands of other exam takers, more than likely everyone at work knew you were preparing for this exam — reading prep books at lunch, searching online for unfamiliar terms, and sharing new information as you discovered it. In short, you geeked out on all things HR for an period of time, which is excellent news.

It gives you the opportunity to triumphantly enter the workplace the day after the exam and announce that your effort paid off. Here are some tips on how to get a raise post-certification:

  • Do more prep work. Ask your boss before the exam what your options will be for career growth after you’re successfully certified. Establishing the expectations early on aligns your boss with your goals and allows her to gain any approvals before the big day. You may still need to be groomed for that next promotion, but at least you’ll know what to expect.

  • Ask directly. Take yourself seriously. You’ll just have passed a difficult exam, and that effort should be recognized. Depending on the culture of your work environment, that recognition may come in different forms.

  • Establish a plan. Receiving increased pay, a title change, or a promotion is not unreasonable for the newly certified HR professional, but it may take some time. If you’ve already done the legwork pre-test, then you know that the plan is to increase your pay. If the company you work for isn’t able to financially reward your professional success, perhaps the company can offer other ways for you to benefit, such as gaining a senior title. A title is nothing to scoff at, because it demonstrates professional growth on your resume.

You chose to go down the road of certification for some reason, and it certainly wasn’t the path of least resistance. You must have your own career plan to help you decide whether you should stay with your current company or look elsewhere for opportunities. Where possible, job changes should serve your resume, not just your pocketbook.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Sandra M. Reed, SPHR, is the owner of EpocHResources, a consulting firm specializing in the unique HR needs of small businesses. She has authored learning modules and case studies for the Society for Human Resource Management. She is the co-author of PHR/SPHR: Professional in Human Resources Certification Study Guide, 4E, by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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