5 Certifications That Don’t Mean What You Think They Do

Whenever you’re filling out a resume that details your accomplishments and skills, you’ll likely see a spot where you can also list all of the certifications that you’ve earned throughout your career. This is the opportunity for you to showcase some very specific skills that have been recognized by a third party, but not all of them are built the same. 

For many people, hearing the word certification usually brings up thoughts of intense training in a specific field. However, there are a few different forms that you should know. Certificates typically don’t require any formal education and can simply be obtained through quick training in as soon as a few minutes. Then, there are certifications and licenses that require a lot more training and carry a lot more weight. Let’s take a look at some of the certifications that fall under these categories, showing you their true meaning. 

Certified Life Coach

There are times in our lives when we feel like nothing is going right and we want some outside help to get us back on track. In many cases, people will turn to a psychiatrist or psychologist who can help you determine the source of your problems and set you on the path to correcting those problems. However, those professions require years of formal education, so everyone is aware of just how much it can cost per hour to see one of them.

Then, there are people who are life coaches, who promise to carry the same type of knowledge as a trained professional, but the life coach industry has almost no regulations. Because of this, it’s easy for someone to go through a one-day certification program so they can give themselves a label that makes them appear more professional. While not all of them are scammers, always be wary and do some background checks.

Certified Master Chef

When we hear the term “Master Chef” our minds suddenly go to the likes of Gordon Ramsay thanks to his reality television cooking competition. While it just seems like a moniker that’s given to the winner of the series, it’s actually a certification that can be obtained through the American Culinary Federation. According to the ACF, it is “the only Master Chef certification in the U.S. recognized by the Department of Labor.”

However, those who are experts in the field of cooking have called the certification a “hustle” and say that it’s basically something that is paid for instead of earned. However, it looks good on a resume, especially to someone who isn’t deep into the cooking world. If you were to present the same certificate to say, Gordon Ramsay himself, he would likely roll his eyes.

Certified Financial Planner

The role of a financial planner is something that anybody can do whether or not they have a bachelor’s degree. There isn’t a lot of regulation when it comes to the job, and most people will trust anyone that has the Certified Financial Planner. Before you trust your money to someone with this certification, though, always make sure to check their qualifications.

This is one of those tricky ones because there are some people who have no experience in finance that have the same certification as others who have a master’s degree in accounting, business, or even law. Always double-check the history, because sometimes the board doesn’t always do enough vetting. The best financial planners will have a long history and list of clients that you can speak with who can vouch for their skills.

CPR Certification

Whether you obtained it in school or through work, almost everyone in the United States has received a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification at some point. While it’s important to know CPR in the event of an emergency, it doesn’t take much to receive the certification. Typically you are in a class for a couple of hours over the course of a few days and have to show the most basic skills.

Once you receive your CPR certification, you might think that you’re in the same realm as lifeguards or paramedics, but you can be wholly unprepared for an emergency situation despite having the same certification. After all, it only costs about $13 to obtain your CPR certification online without even needing to showcase your skills on a CPR dummy where you’d perform chest compressions. At the end of the day, it’s about as hard to obtain as a boating license.

Certified Nutritionist

When you’re looking to either manage your weight or improve your overall health through your diet, one of the first people that you’ll turn to is a nutritionist. Before you even begin a conversation with a nutritionist, though, check their credentials. If they’re a registered dietitian or a certified nutrition specialist, then they have gone through formal training and are a trustworthy source.

Then, there are those that don’t have the words “registered” or “specialist” in their title, but are instead certified nutritionists. There aren’t many regulations when it comes to this certification (for whatever reason) and allows people to give nutritional advice in most states despite possibly not being an expert.

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