Corporate Eye

July Wrap-up

Beautiful Rose

Summer slowed down the posting for Careers in July, so this month the Wrap-up offers a few items that didn’t make it online.

A Note about Certifications

There’s a long-standing debate about whether certifications have real, practical importance.  Does professional certification increase someone’s worth in the marketplace—or is it mainly a source of revenue for the certification provider?  (Check out this lively international discussion for multiple perspectives on IT certification.)

From the individual’s perspective, there are some good reasons to consider certification:

  • Preparing for exams provides the chance to review information, assess strengths and weaknesses, and maybe even learn something new.
  • Passing exams and obtaining a certification can be a confidence booster.  Success feels good!
  • On the other side of the coin, failing an exam could be a needed wake-up call for folks who have been overestimating their skill level.

Although having a certification won’t magically double your market value or ensure a promotion—those initials after your name actually may add a little heft to business cards and resumes.

So for those who can afford the time/effort/money, and don’t expect a miracle, certification can make sense.  Unfortunately—no certifications available yet for Brilliant Online Corporate Careers Communication.  But until the BOCCC comes along, there’s the PHR (Professional in Human Relations) and the SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Relations) from the HR Certification Institute.  Visit their blog for a further view into the details.

Revisiting Disability

Recently, the USA marked an anniversary:  twenty years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  For some reflections on the accomplishments since then—along with the gaps that still exist—listen to an NPR conversation:  20 Years After ADA, Accessibility Remains ‘An Evolutionary Process’.  There’s a transcript too.

And for a global perspective, check out the website provided by the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission.  Three good reasons to visit:

  • A colorful and creative design
  • A summary of the Equality Act 2010, as well as a full-text PDF
  • A guide to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD), as well as full-text versions

An Interesting Survey . . .

I’ve just browsed through a new survey being conducted by Aberdeen’s Human Capital Management practice.  I did not answer the questions, since I’m not in their target demographic—but I did get some ideas by reading the questions, so there will be a post in the future.  Meanwhile, see for yourself.  The survey is online for another week or so, and the results will be out in October.

(Many thanks to elbfoto for the “beautiful rose.”)

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.