Member Login
Back to Blog

6 Steps to HR Certification that WORK!

hr best practices hr certification hr essentials hr for small business Sep 22, 2020

Feeling like it would be easier to climb Mt. Everest then to pass the HR Certification exams? Well, you’re not alone. The majority of HR professionals are not certified – which is why getting certified can dramatically impact your career. Being a star among your peers will make a difference!

Choose your Exam

HRCI or SHRM both offer certifications that are equally respected in the marketplace. Going for the generalist (CP or PHR) level or Senior level (SCP or SPHR) should be based on how involved you are in the strategic elements of your business – that just isn’t something you can easily learn from a book.

Create a Study Plan

You need to be intentional on when you are and going to study and how you are going to do it. There are many programs to get you ready (link to ours!) and books and study guides on Amazon. Select one resource at first and master it!

Practice – Practice – Practice

You can’t have too much time spent on practicing multiple choice questions. That is what so many of us struggle with: “Is it B or C?” So get in there, practice and don’t just focus on the right answer, focus on what in the question gave you the clue that it was the right answer.

Think “Big Picture”

You have to answer the way the general HR professional would – not what you do at your company. That can be the hardest part, check your experience at the door when it comes to specific decision making. And especially remember that state and local law has no place in the exams.

Getting Ready to Take the Exam

Review high level concepts and be sure that you know your vocabulary. Review only the key legislative acts. No need to memorize the year a law what passed or what senator sponsored the bill.


They do want you to pass, as long as you know your stuff. You can’t memorize everything in the exams, so rely on your HR knowledge.

Today – about 37% of those that consider themselves HR professionals hold at least one certification. We know that certified professionals have added credibility at work, higher salaries and are able to define their careers by finding their next position. What are you waiting for?

If you’re looking for more comprehensive test prep, consider our HR Certification Test Prep Class. The next live session begins soon. This web-based course also covers the full exam and includes more than ten hours of recorded content, hundreds of practice questions with immediate feedback, a cohort-based study group, and additional tools and resources. Register now and get access to the materials until you pass the exam.

Thanks for reading!

Get weekly articles and 3 free tools by joining our network!

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.