A recent article on HR Daily Advisor talked about human resources certification being an advantage in the hiring and promotion process. It’s not a surprise. Whether it’s for human resources or most other professions, having a certification can set you apart from others.
When I was being interviewed for a position, I would get asked about my certification. The interviewer (in most cases the CEO) didn’t know what the SPHR was. They just saw letters after my name and wanted to know how I got them. It’s a great way to direct the conversation toward skills.
That being said, I do agree with those people who feel obtaining certification should be a difficult process. And, maintaining your certification should not be a cakewalk. Which is why I applaud the HR Certification Institute for changing the eligibility requirements for the PHR / SPHR / GPHR exams.
The other thing I feel adds to the value and relevance of human resources certification is the addition of social media components to the recertification criteria. I was honored to help create the new guidelines and be quoted in the recent HR Certification Institute press release that blogging will be eligible for recertification credits. You can check out the specifics here.
As someone who has written SHRM whitepapers and articles for print publications, I was thrilled to see an acknowledgment that good HR-related content can exist on a web-based medium. It was also terrific to know that I wasn’t going to have to write 1250+ words (like my last whitepaper) to receive the credit.
Given the importance of certification and the ability to use blogging in the recertification process, I’m thinking we could see more people venture into the HR blogging space. And that would be cool. So, I wanted to take a moment to answer here on the blog a recent reader question.
The question was simple: Any advice for a newbie blogger?
Human Resources manager Paul Smith, who has been writing at Welcome to the Occupation since 2009, recommended doing some research before selecting a blogging platform. “I wish I had done some preliminary homework on blog technology and creating a website. If I had, I would have probably used WordPress and not Blogger. Blogger has worked fine for me. However there are technological issues with my blog that I cannot solve.”
I heard something similar from Jennifer V. Miller, managing partner for SkillSource, a professional development consultancy that focuses on communications, management and sales training. “A blog requires much more ‘back end’ administration than I realized. Having a successful blog is not just about writing compelling blog posts, it’s about keeping the site in good working condition. Plan on investing at least three hours a week in updating the site, responding to comments and performing general maintenance.”
But don’t let the blog maintenance deter you from blogging. Smith advises, “Blogging is an opportunity to express yourself through writing and actually have an audience. Thus you can never let it be about anything else than you want it to be. Always remember, it’s your blog, no one else’s, and you can do whatever you want with it.
Miller agrees and adds, “Be patient with yourself as you engage in the blogging process. Unless you already have an established track record as a writer, it’s going to take you awhile to find your blogging ‘voice’. You need to find your rhythm and to discern what your readership finds most valuable about your blog.”
And if you’re concerned about developing blogger’s block, take the advice of Gautam Ghosh, a human resources and social media consultant located in India, who has been blogging for almost 9 years. “Read as much and as diversely as you can to churn out richer content”. You can check out his blog at Organizations 2.0 and HR.
My thanks to Gautam, Jennifer and Paul for their sage advice. If you’re not reading their blogs, go check them out. Lots of relevant information.
Blogging can be one of the greatest professional development opportunities today. And there are lots of great bloggers who will share their stories. So, consider if blogging is right for you – even if it’s an occasional post on one of the many community blogs. Share your voice.