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What is your opinion of 'free' certifications such as BrainBench and ExpertRating?

What is your opinion of 'free' certifications such as BrainBench and ExpertRating?
Though I don't mean to imply that something free is inherently worthless, "you get what you pay for" applies to certifications much like it does to everything else. Thus, I'd say it's probably more important to be able to explain to a recruiter, HR professional or hiring manager what you learned and what you can do as a result of earning BrainBench or ExpertRating credentials than it is to claim those credentials on a resume or cover letter. Without explaining their value, many of these decision makers won't "get it" and probably won't attribute much value to them at all, if any.

Thus, you should spend some time developing resume or cover letter content that briefly describes what those certs cover, and what skills and knowledge you developed as a consequence of earning them. The only possible exception to this (and it's not as rare as you might think) will be from employers who already use BrainBench tests to ascertain employee and candidate skills, knowledge and abilities.

This was last published in June 2005

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