By Nancy Woolever,  SHRM Director of Academic Initiatives

Final exams can be stressful and challenging. Now that the fall semester is over, you should think about taking a different type of final exam in the spring.   SHRM offers a “final exam” that you can use to show potential employers you’ve mastered the required knowledge to enter the HR profession. It’s called the Assurance of Learning Assessment for Graduating HR Students, and it serves as a comprehensive exam that covers all things HR that—according to employers hiring entry-level HR professionals—are the HR content areas they expect to see in the knowledge and skill sets of recent graduates.

What’s in it for you?Students who have taken and passed the exam tell us it gives them an important leg up on the competition in the job market. Luke Dillion from the University of Idaho told us, “I only recently received the certificate and I quickly got interviews with two different companies after listing it on my resume. I really do believe that the Certificate of Learning gives me an edge over other job seekers because it is proof that I am ready to enter the workforce and contribute to the success of any organization.”

Jared Smith from Villanova echoes Luke’s opinion. He told us “The Certificate demonstrates that I have achieved a level of mastery of a myriad of topics, and that I am ready to utilize what I have learned during my graduate education to become a more effective practitioner of Human Resources and an increasingly valued resource to my organization.”

Sound intriguing? Check it out online at or take a look at the Preparation Guidebook at Registration for the spring 2012 test window is open through March 5, 2012.