Advancing Your Human Resources Career With Education

As a degree-holding professional working in Human Resources, a master's in HR can lead to a variety of potential career advances, such as senior and executive management positions. It's also important to note that having a strong résumé is vital to helping you get informed by potential employers.

One way to strengthen your résumé is to highlight extracurricular activities along with your master's degree in human resources. If you are not sure how to go about it or how to start, here are four different ways to get you started.

1. Earn Certificates and Join a Professional Association

For those of you who want leadership positions in HR, your Master of Science in Human Resource Development degree gives you the necessary skills to become certified and positions you as a valuable member of a professional association. SHRM, Society for Human Resource Management, is the world's largest association devoted to human resource management, which represents more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries.

As for certificates, the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) provides globally recognized certificates for HR professionals. These certifications require continuing education credits and retesting, at times. Two respected certificates offered by HRCI are:

* PHR® (Professional in Human Resources)

Eligible candidates have at least two years of HR exempt-level experience as a practitioner, educator, researcher or consultant.

* SPHR® (Senior Professional in Human Resources)

Eligible candidates have at four to six years of HR exempt-level experience.

Earn a Better Salary, Get What You Deserve

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in its Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011 , employment for the Human Resource industry is expected to grow by 17% over the next decade . And master's degree holders who have earned their certification would have the most opportunities.

* Annual salary rates for HR professionals may vary according to occupation, experience, training, location and the firm they work for.

Compensation Outlook from the BLS

Title

Median Earnings as of 2008

Human Resource Managers

$ 96,130

Training and Development Managers

$ 87,700

Benefits Managers

$ 86,500

2. Masters in HR, It's Time to Become a Master Social Networker

LinkedIn and HR Professionals Go Hand In Hand

Recently, SuccessInHR.com published an article about the importance of LinkedIn for HR professionals . LinkedIn has over 37 million members on the site, 450,000 of which are HR professionals . Many are not maximizing the value the site can provide them.

LinkedIn, and other online social networking sites, provide HR professionals with a plethora of options:

* Recruitment

* Professional networking

* Research

* Peer-to-peer help on message boards

* New career opportunities

* Consulting

If you are looking for a new career opportunity, an updated résumé on your profile is crucial. List your credentials (ie, Master of Science in Human Resource Development, SPHR® certification, SHRM membership) in your résumé profile; credentials can increase your résumés visibility among the masses.

Tweet Your Credentials

Be creative with the 140 character allotment you're given. Potential employers, recruiters and head hunters search for keywords, and …