Hiring managers are deluged with resumes from applicants vying for the best jobs. The challenge for job-seekers is finding ways to stand out from the crowd. Earning a certification that expands and validates new skills and knowledge is an effective way to get that edge–especially certifications that impress recruiters.

Developing expertise is a key strategy to qualifying for higher-level jobs where recruiters search for people with the right mix of talent, experience, and commitment. Online learning has made earning a business certificate more convenient than ever, with executives having many certifications to consider.

Why Earn a Professional Certification?

An established executive may feel that their past success justifies not pursuing further education. A newcomer might feel they have already learned all the necessary skills to launch their careers. But at any point in one’s career, earning certifications that impress recruiters provides advantages.

Some of those advantages include:

  • Credibility: For those early in their careers looking to establish themselves, earning certification provides objective proof they have specialized knowledge.
  • Increased marketability: For high-level managers and executives looking to transition, earning a certification gives them an edge in a competitive job market.
  • Meeting “preference” criteria: Many job listings mention certifications as a “preference” for employers. Recruiters give special attention to those who meet these criteria.
  • Higher salaries: Those with certifications improve their chances of leveraging specialized skills into jobs that command a higher salary.

Of course, some certifications impress recruiters more than others. The key is knowing which ones are worth the time and effort.

Best Certifications for Job Hunters

Some professionals, including pilots and insurance agents, must earn certification to work. Outside of those fields specifically requiring certification, it’s important to know which certifications make the biggest impression on recruiters. According to a survey of recruiters done by Glassdoor, they include the following.

Project Management Certifications

Earning project management certification online offers managers and those in leadership positions the opportunity to refine their skills. One recruiter said that those with project management certification “tend to have a more sophisticated approach to taking projects from inception through to completion across different methodologies.”

Lean Six Sigma Certification

Lean Six Sigma provides the tools and strategies necessary to improve successful, data-driven processes. Lean experts understand how to cut waste from a process, focusing on what provides value to the consumer. Professionals attaining a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt have the skills to play a key role in process improvement projects.

Professional Sales Certificate

While experience plays a large role in developing sales skills, earning a professional sales certificate gives graduates the chance to learn the latest strategies and best practices for success in the modern business world.

Kelley School of Business Certifications

Recognizing the importance of professional certifications and the opportunities presented with online learning, Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business offers certification courses in a range of specializations. They include 100% online programs such as the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, Project Management Certificate and Professional Sales Certificate, which recruiters mention as three of the most impressive a professional can earn.

The Green Belt Certification programs curriculum aligns with the American Society of Quality’s Green Belt Body of Knowledge standards. The program includes four courses, each lasting four weeks. Students who complete the courses and score at least 80 percent on the cumulative exam earn Green Belt Certification from the Kelley School of Business.

The Project Management Certificate meets the 35-hour education requirement for Projection Management Professional (PMP) certification and provides students the information needed to pass the Projection Management Institute’s certification exam. It also meets the 23-hour project manager education requirement for Certified Associate in Project Management (CAMP).

The online Professional Sales Certificate provides leaders from all industries the skills, knowledge, and expertise needed to excel in professional sales. The program operates on the premise that professionals in all areas engage in sales, whether on a sales team or on a project team seeking to convince management to invest in an internal project. People who achieve any sales success develop and maintain relationships and generate value for all parties.

All of these programs rank among the certifications that impress recruiters. They can boost the career of an established veteran or give a newcomer the credibility they need to gain entry into the upper ranks of management. In either case, the return is worth the investment.