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Certifications state that you have some minimum level of knowledge as measured by the certification agency and validated via their testing process. It makes a convenient filter for recruiters and HR.
As a hiring manager, I am more interested in understanding that applies to the position I need to fill and attitude towards work.
The right certs will help you get to that interview with me, but after that they mean nothing. Pile them on, and I will think your approach is “if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull s…” You will have to work harder as a result to impress me in the interview.
By all means, collect the certifications if it makes you happy. Some look nice on the wall. Don’t include any that are not directly related to the job you are applying for, and only list the highest level of any series.
Make sure you show that you have actually had some hands-on experience in the areas you are emphasizing on your resume and in your interview. I think it is good to have certifications, but if you have no experience to go along with it, not many people will pay attention to them.
There probably is an ill-defined point beyond which the number of certifications you have will work against you. It really depends on the types of certs, and what else shows on the resume.
Certifications tell a potential employer that you have acheived a certain level of knowledge in a given subject. Experience tells that employer that you can (probably) put that knowledge into practice.
A cert without the experience to back it up is usually worthless.
Do the certs you have all pertain to a specific area (i.e. security, networking, software development, etc.), or all they all over the place?
In general, if your resume shows 3 or more certs and only a couple years of experience in a specific area, that tells me you probably spent more time studying than really learning your job and putting your knowledge to practical use.
In general, if your resume shows certs in several areas, but no experience in all these areas, that tells me that you really don’t know what you want to be when you grow up and that you lack focus.
In general, if your resume shows 5 or more certs and a number of years experience to back up each, that tells me that you are smarter than me and that I probably couldn’t afford you if I wanted to hire you.
The bottom line is that if your resume shows a certification, most employers will consider it worthless without some experience to back it up.