Lately, I've been spending some time contemplating the value of LEED, CDT and other potential certifications that look nice on a resume for a landscape architect. I can't rationalize dedicating a large amount of my time reading through LEED literature or memorizing numerous pieces of information to eventually apply to some test. I want to design, I don't want to pad a resume with some titles after my name or line items in a "certifications" section of a resume.
When I've had this conversation with others in the past it's usually always the same answer. "But if you're not going to get all of these certifications, how will you ever stand out when you apply for graduate school or look for new jobs in the future?" My answer is, "because I like to think, generate ideas and string together a set of ideas to do something that lets me apply what I know in more complex ways then memorizing test material." Cue the eye roll.
But, regardless, I believe in it. And, if I see a resume of a prospective employee or intern I care more about how you applied knowledge in a unique way or pursued radical ideas. So what do I mean? I'm thinking about anything from publishing an article in a magazine, starting a blog (hello), starting a company (go big), managing a team for a competition, speaking at a conference or voicing opinion and ideas in any public forum. This is a small list, maybe a bit far reaching, but it's all about the idea of actually standing out instead of fitting in. More and more people have some bundle of letters after their name, but only few have something interesting to talk about when it comes to doing something different.
We're not doctors or lawyers. To practice we need to have that ever sought after RLA, sure. The additional items may add some characters to a resume but sure don't make a coffee conversation very interesting.