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Who Cares About Skill Certifications?

I have a question for the CFOs and finance directors. A couple of weeks ago I went for a financial analyst interview and was rejected DURING the interview because I was not able to convince my potential boss that I am confident with using Microsoft Excel. So I decided to go for Microsoft Excel certifications (Microsoft Office Specialist - Expert) so that I could have them on my resume. It was very easy for me to pass the test with just a one week of studying. My question is, whether it really makes a difference in having such certifications on a resume and do you guys really give them any importance during the selection process or did I just waste my time and money? Thanks


John P. Hart
Title: Vice Pres - CFO
Company: Nova Pressroom Products, LLC
(Vice Pres - CFO, Nova Pressroom Products, LLC) |

You've quickly made an effort to counter the objection. Good for you! Nothing wasted.

Go ahead and share with your boss that your assessment level of expertise was correct. You've showed initiative and obtained the certification to prove that. Ask that the next time there is a similar interview you'd like to be considered.

If that doesn't happen, then perhaps there was another reason for the rejection.

Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

A foreword: Google (and a lot of Silicon Valley startups) no longer rely on certifications, degrees or your university pedigree. What matters most is your enthusiasm, your record of delivering (ex. projects you have worked on) and your resourcefulness.

I hope this paradigm catches on. I believe this is also doable in finance.

You don't know how many times I have seen complicated (formulas/ways I don't even use) spreadsheets and BEAUTIFUL reports (with graphs and things) that have been worthless.

For me, Excel is more an art than a science/certificate.

But to your question, I think the problem was not the certificate itself but your ability to convince him (as per your words, "...not able to convince my potential boss that I am confident with using Microsoft Excel".) that you can do what needs to be done in Excel. I think you should ALSO work on your confidence. if a certificate can give you that....yay for you! Taking my point a bit further, a certificate may get you the job, but the it may not get you to stay long.


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