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Thread: AICP lapsed. Mention it on resume?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian southern_yank's avatar
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    AICP lapsed. Mention it on resume?

    Hi all. I recently let my AICP certification lapse after having it for several years. Due to time constraints, substantial renewal costs (which my employer didn't cover) and what I found to be the limited usefulness of many of the continuing education courses and conferences, I simply couldn't justify the cost of maintaining certification any longer.

    I'm wondering how to handle this on my resume and during interviews. Do I include the years which I was AICP certified on my resume (writing something like "AICP from 2012-2015", or leave it off completely? Also, do I mention my former certification during interviews, or not mention it at all? Has anyone let their certification lapse and been dinged for it during interviews? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
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    Tough call to put it on or not. I guess I would put it on and just right the years I held it in hopes that it gives me a couple points over the other guy, but that's just me. To me it says you're smart enough to pass the test if I needed you to, but for whatever reason you let it slide and that could be discussed during the interview.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
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    I would not put it on my resume at all if it is not current. I understand where you're coming from about the cost but quite frankly, sometimes you need to figure out a way to pay for it and invest in your career. As a hiring manager I would view it as someone who didn't follow through i.e. CMs etc. That may be harsh but it's a tough world out there and I'm always looking for ways to pare down a list of applicants. I bitch as much as anyone about AICP but it's about the only thing out there that shows your commitment to the profession. I'd strongly suggest you do what it takes to get back in good standing with AICP if you want to use it on a resume.
    He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
    Seems to think that money grows on trees . . .

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    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MD Planner View post
    I would not put it on my resume at all if it is not current. I understand where you're coming from about the cost but quite frankly, sometimes you need to figure out a way to pay for it and invest in your career. As a hiring manager I would view it as someone who didn't follow through i.e. CMs etc. That may be harsh but it's a tough world out there and I'm always looking for ways to pare down a list of applicants. I bitch as much as anyone about AICP but it's about the only thing out there that shows your commitment to the profession. I'd strongly suggest you do what it takes to get back in good standing with AICP if you want to use it on a resume.
    As another person that does hiring, I agree with MD Planner...I'd leave it off for the reasons he stated. Fair or not, I would certainly question the commitment of someone that let their certification lapse in a recruitment process, and would consider it a slight negative in evaluating/comparing candidates.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  5. #5
    On the other hand, I would hire someone who had been certified but had it lapse, than someone who had never been certified and wasn't working toward certification. So, I wouldn't put it on the resume, but if it came up in an interview and I felt I could be persuasive about the professional reasons why I had to let it lapse, I'd probably go there.

    YMMV.
    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
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  6. #6
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    On the other hand, I would hire someone who had been certified but had it lapse, than someone who had never been certified and wasn't working toward certification. So, I wouldn't put it on the resume, but if it came up in an interview and I felt I could be persuasive about the professional reasons why I had to let it lapse, I'd probably go there.

    YMMV.
    Agree with this as well. (Though I'll probably already know if you've ever been AICP before you even enter the interview...)
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  7. #7
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I would not put it on. However, if asked I would be upfront and honest about having it in the past, why you don't, and being willing to get it again if needed.
    If you're not growing, you're dying. - Lou Holtz

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    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    On the other hand, I would hire someone who had been certified but had it lapse, than someone who had never been certified and wasn't working toward certification. So, I wouldn't put it on the resume, but if it came up in an interview and I felt I could be persuasive about the professional reasons why I had to let it lapse, I'd probably go there.

    YMMV.
    This.

    If the certification isn't current, don't include it on the resume. But if it comes up during the interview process be honest about why it lapsed.

    While it's a good thing to have in the profession, for better or for worse it's not like a CPA or membership to the state legal bar where you can be legally disqualified from giving your professional advice without the AICP certification and you aren't presenting a potential legal liability to an employer who might hire you. I know we need to hold our profession in high regard and we are our own best promoters of the field, but knowing the workings of the AICP process I don't think I would hold it against a candidate too much if they had let it lapse for the reasons you describe.

    Of course, if I were the one doing the hiring and it came down to two equally qualified candidates, one who was current with AICP and one who wasn't, the one who was current would probably be the one who would get the nod. So I'd definitely take the advice of those who suggest that if it's important to you and you keep seeing AICP in the jobs you are considering then it would behoove you to get current.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm

    There is some merit to the idea that not having AICP is more beneficial than having AICP....at least anywhere outside the degree and letter collecting Northeastern USA

    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

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    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    Tat least anywhere outside the degree and letter collecting Northeastern USA

    I feel like the whole northeast was just an innocent victim in this dicussion

    FWIW, I have spent my entire career in the northeast and AICP has never been a big deal anywhere I have worked.

    As for your original question, I think it's fine to put it in the end section of the resume under "Professional Involvement" or just leave it off. Don't highlight it.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    I feel like the whole northeast was just an innocent victim in this dicussion

    FWIW, I have spent my entire career in the northeast and AICP has never been a big deal anywhere I have worked.

    As for your original question, I think it's fine to put it in the end section of the resume under "Professional Involvement" or just leave it off. Don't highlight it.
    I agree with you that some places AICP is no big deal but like I've always said, sometimes it allows you to knock on doors you otherwise wouldn't be able to. But no, it is not fine to put it on your resume under "Professional Involvement" if you aren't currently certified. You either are AICP or you're not. There's no middle ground.
    He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
    Seems to think that money grows on trees . . .

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by MD Planner View post
    ...... But no, it is not fine to put it on your resume under "Professional Involvement" if you aren't currently certified. You either are AICP or you're not. There's no middle ground.
    Agree.

    Leave it off - why bring attention to something you don't have / aren't current.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    AICP has never been a big deal anywhere I've worked full-time, but then again I'm a more junior employee who isn't eligible yet to take the exam. I guess it depends on the region you're in and also the culture of the employer. Can you find out how many people work in that department and how many have AICP? You may also be able to ask on a second interview what the employer's attitude is towards professional development and APA/AICP financial assistance and say that you would like to take the exam since you are qualified (I assume you'll have to retake the exam?).

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    Cyburbian southern_yank's avatar
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    Thanks for all of your responses. I'm actually thinking about reinstating my AICP after reading them. The credentials aren't absolutely necessary in our field but they can give a candidate an edge in the hiring process. Since the planning field isn't exactly booming, any small advantage helps. I believe I can pay back dues and log back credits up to 4 years after lapsing without having to re-take the exam, so I have some time to decide.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by southern_yank View post
    Thanks for all of your responses. I'm actually thinking about reinstating my AICP after reading them. The credentials aren't absolutely necessary in our field but they can give a candidate an edge in the hiring process. Since the planning field isn't exactly booming, any small advantage helps. I believe I can pay back dues and log back credits up to 4 years after lapsing without having to re-take the exam, so I have some time to decide.
    Info about
    REINSTATING AICP MEMBERSHIP: WHAT TO DO IF YOUR MEMBERSHIP HAS LAPSED
    https://www.planning.org/membership/renewal/

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    Here in CA, planning is cut-through competitive and at least half of the local planning jobs announced have "AICP is highly desirable". Grad school is generally glossed-over, so maybe the MCP/MUP/MPA is becoming obsolete (?). Not sure, but something is happening in that dept. Anyways, other thing I've noticed is that people who get AICP can usually parlay into other fields more easily. For example, guy I knew worked for a CA state agency got his AICP, then got better paying (+more interesting) job at a nearby county. It seems to happen that way often here, so I think in very competitive environments the AICP is a must.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    I feel like the whole northeast was just an innocent victim in this dicussion

    FWIW, I have spent my entire career in the northeast and AICP has never been a big deal anywhere I have worked.

    As for your original question, I think it's fine to put it in the end section of the resume under "Professional Involvement" or just leave it off. Don't highlight it.
    My experience working in the Northeast for 10+ years has been as follows:

    -AICP is essential if you want to consult
    -AICP is valued at the director level at small and mid-size municipalities, not so much below the director level
    -AICP has minimal recognition or value at major cities, and many folks choose to completely forego certification

    I'm in the latter environment now and have found that no one cares about AICP and that there is little in the way of support for those of us who have the credential. Where you went to school has far more bearing on your career prospects in the big NE cities, and as someone with a master's in public policy from a state school, I've had to work twice and hard and for twice as long to get where I am versus those who went to name schools. AICP has helped me to bridge some of that gap, no question. I just wish the CM offerings had more than a modicum of relevance to my day to day work.

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