As a Network Engineer looking for a new role, you come across a job role that looks perfect for you and one you feel you could easily step into, as well as offering you the opportunity to step up and progress your career. As you are checking the ‘Qualifications and Skills Required’ section, you come across the line ‘Essential to have CCNA’, ‘CCNP is a must have’ or ‘CCIE highly desirable. Here’s the dilemma though, you have these certifications, but they are no longer valid due to them expiring. What do you do? Do you include them on your CV, or leave them off and move on to the next job description?
Why did I let it expire??
It may be that some years ago when you started working, you were keen and enthusiastic to learn your craft and enhance your skills and knowledge base. So, you took it on board to gain your certifications. It may be that your company paid for your training and encouraged you to become a certified engineer. Some companies will only recruit people with certifications, or champion their staff to become certified. Especially those who are IT Service Providers, so that when they are trying to win new customers it is about making their company stand out from others.
It’s all very common when you find yourself settled within an organisation, happily designing, or maintaining, troubleshooting, and supporting networks, the months and years pass by and your certifications fall into the background and become expired. You are comfortable in your surroundings, you’re happily learning within your role and nothing is really driving you to renew them. You do not do anything about them until the day comes that you want to move on. Although you have the solid experience, there is no valid certification to go alongside.
Then of course there are other networking professionals, who take it upon themselves to renew their certifications when they expire, constantly upskilling and building on their extensive knowledge base. Contractors will often be pushing themselves further, building on their skill set, ensuring they are highly desirable and able to command a higher hourly rate then their colleagues, in a competitive market.
What Do Managers Really Think?
Some IT Managers/Directors/CEO’s feel that for you to be certified, it demonstrated a certain level of technical capability. They will not only be looking at the desired certifications, but they will also be looking at your work experience and the hands on technical experience you have. If you’ve been working within that relevant networking environment, then some really aren’t too worried about expired certifications. The piece of paper may be expired, but your knowledge is never expired.
However, when requesting that a candidate must be a CCNA, CCNP etc, some managers have expressed annoyance when receiving a CV where the CCNA or other certification had expired, and the candidate tried to pass it off as active. The majority think it shows a lack of commitment if you had the certification, but then didn’t maintain it or further yourself with more certifications. They have the opinion of – don’t let it expire, renew it, go for another certification such as another CCNA Sec, SP, etc or one of the professional certifications. Some have the thought of ‘if you aren’t going to take notice in your career future…why should I?’
Do I put the expired ones on my CV?
So, the big question of what to do. You feel that you should put them down, after all, you passed them. Here’s a thought, if you were required to have a driver’s licence but you were disqualified, would you say that you had a valid driver’s licence and allowed to drive? An extreme analogy, or one that rings true? The advice we can give comes from speaking with many recruiting Managers and CEO’s. What seems to be the rule of thumb and good practice to follow are:
- First of all….Don’t let them expire! Always include your Cisco ID on your CV. Take pride in your professional development. It demonstrates you are keen to further and enhance your skills making you better equipped to do a first-class job. You become a technical leader and specialist in your field. It can only bring positive progression in your career.
- If you do let them expire, note on your CV when it was valid and that it has now expired. Or do not include it! Never lie!
- If the employer learns that the certification that you listed has expired, he or she may conclude that you have misrepresented your qualifications!
- If you are in the process of renewing, include that detail on your CV. It shows you have commitment to keep learning and to keep your skills current.
Now, do you need to make some adjustments to your CV, or get yourself booked on that course to renew?