Very Short Blog Posts (23) – No Certification? No Problem!

Another testing meetup, and another remark from a tester that hiring managers and recruiters won’t call her for an interview unless she has an ISEB or ISTQB certification. “They filter résumés based on whether you have the certification!” Actually, people probably go to even less effort than that; they more likely get a machine to search for a string of characters. So if you’re looking for a testing job, you don’t have a certification, and you have no interest in paying an employment tax to the rent-seekers here’s one way to get around the filter. At the bottom of your CV, add this sentence:

I do not have an ISEB or ISTQB certification, and I would be pleased to explain why.

An automated filter will put your résumé on the “read it” pile. Then the sentence should attract the attention of anyone who bothers to read it and who is genuinely interested in hiring a tester, at which point they’ll start looking at your real qualifications. And if they don’t contact you, you probably don’t want to work with them anyway.

4 replies to “Very Short Blog Posts (23) – No Certification? No Problem!”

  1. Interesting approach, speculating some HR behavior. Based on what I know from our local market, such a statement might get one kicked from the recruiting list. I know this is biased 🙂 ..but this is my view

    Michael replies: Nobody’s forcing you to take my suggestion. But nobody is forcing you to pay the employment tax either, nor to work with a recruiter, or for a particular employer. We have choices. As Jerry Weinberg once pointed out to me and a colleague, the barriers to getting hired are only the first obstacles that a tester will have to deal with, but deal with them we must.

  2. I find that the problem is also on the candidate side. There are plenty of companies that do not look for certification. I personally have a hard time finding experienced testers with or without certification because I hire in a smaller market. I don’t look for certifications, but I also get my teams actively engaged in thinking about their testing, not filling in the blanks in a template. Sometimes we have to go where the work is if we want to do work worth doing.

  3. Not ALL hiring managers (and recruiters) want certificates, although it is wise to cater for those as well until you actually speak to the person who you’ll be working with who often don’t care about that piece of paper anymore.

    In the past I did this the other way round. As a hiring manager I asked for people without ISEB or ISTQB qualification but wouldn’t hold it against them if they had it.
    That made quite a few people awkward but also got some great discussions going about how educating yourself worked out for individuals.

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