How to Build Credibility with Little Experience
Employment Job Ad reads: Seeking candidate between the ages of 23-32 for startup who has 15 to 20 years experience in Inbound Marketing. Must be creative, have excellent writing skills, and worked for any one of the companies listed on the ChefMartec Landscape.
Have you even read a job posting that you were very excited over. Very confident that you posses most of those stills, but get worried that you will be rejected before you have the chance to prove it? Or maybe during the early onset of seeking a new job, or a new career, you realize that you lack credibility of the more experienced?
What do you do?
How do you over come the experience deficit?
Do you Google it? Check out YouTube?
Today, early career job seekers have all the tools at their disposal. 30 years ago, everyone sought out a college education. It was mandatory by most employers that all candidate seeking a job must have a college education. During the Industrial age, information was purchased — going to college. Along came the Information age. Now information is no longer held close to the heart. Everyone has access to any topic they can dream about over the internet.
How can you gain credibility with little experience?
Here are 5 Sure Ways You Can Start to Build Credibility and Experience
1. Use your research skills
The millennium generation has proven that going college is not the only way to acquire skills. My son is a perfect example. He has taught himself how to program in Swift — Apples programming language. Today, he develops apps to pickup extra spending money while attending college.
Now matter what your interests or passions are, research the subject. Read case studies. Pick up books, magazines, read industry articles, and focus your interests in that area. Pay attention to the industry trends. Research questions that people are seeking answers too. Quora is a great site to begin answering questions. The more questions you answer, the better the feedback, the more people will ask you to answer others questions.
Ted Talks is another great place to gain industry insite. Leaders from all around the world speak on Ted Talks on various topics. Check it out. You will thank me later. And don’t forget YouTube. The golden go-to for any subject.
Your goal is to be consider a subject matter expert. You want to be viewed upon your peers as a “go-to” person. And once you do, you begin to build credibility, eventually, your peers may consider you an expert — a great place to be.
I wrote another blog on Why Hiring Experience Over Expertise is Not the Best Decision. This article should motivate you even further.
2. Identify (and embrace) your specific contribution
Self-evaluation is a critical key component to building credibility. What do you enjoying the most? What topic interests you the most? What do your friends or peers come to you for? Do you see a pattern? Do different people ask you similar questions? What are you key strengths? Are they writing, researching, building, drawing, or public speaking? Ask your close friends or relatives what they think your strengths are? You would be amazed to hear their opinion. It might be an eye opener. Once you determine your strengths, hone in on those skills, Fine tune them to a point that everyone see’s you as the subject matter expert.
Look at your past jobs. What have you enjoyed doing? What job did you enjoy doing the most? Where you in a sales role, but hated it because you had prospecting, but you enjoyed the education you received from marketing or product development? Do you have ideas that could boost productivity in sales or can provide a better way to educate the sales team? Don’t let yourself get pigeon hold into a specific role due to your narrow skills. Be broad, opened minded, be able to discuss different perspectives. This will set you apart from your competition. This is the best way to jump start your career.
3. Volunteer Willingly
Seeking out opportunities to prove your skill set. Building credibility does not only start in the workplace. Look at Social Media. I can’t tell you how many people there are that influence CEO’s in the workplace and beyond. Check out this list of 2017 Internet of Things Top 100 Influencers. I bet you anyone interested in the topic of Internet of Things read or watch content that any influencer on this list produces? These people have build credibility and considered experts.
If you follow anyone on social media or a senior leader asks for a volunteer to work on a special project, I would recommend volunteering. Volunteering on social media does three things 1) you build engagement 2) build credibility 3) you begin to looked upon as a “to-go” person and in the workplace a few things happen 1) your build awareness 2) build upon your skill set 3) and provides the opportunity to prove yourself. Volunteering is a sure way to demonstrate to your boss that you are hard working and reliable.
4. Manage your workload and communicate proactively
As a junior employee, you might not be considered as high caliber as your peers. And that is ok right now as you build your knowledge and experience. Many junior might feel compelled to take on extra projects. And then realize later on they are falling behind on project. Don’t under estimate the power of communication. Communication is the golden ticket to setting expectations. By not communicating with your peers, you might be putting them in an unexpected place of discomfort, especially if their work is dependent upon yours. Be proactive. Inform your superior if you are falling behind. Ask them for advice. Keep your team informed.
As you prepare to finalize your projects, make sure you meet your deadlines. Close up any loose ends. Ensure you have followed through any requests. The last thought you want your team members to have is that you are unreliable. You might be a junior team member, buy you can be considered a reliable and hard worker.
5. Work to build a network of close relationships
Anyone will tell you the easiest way to find a job is by developing a reliable network. Networking can come in any form — at work, friends, acquaintances, social media, church or temple, or your local Starbucks. Your network are people you can call upon to mentor you, ask for advice, and feedback as you advance through your career.
Ask co-workers to lunch. Expand beyond your usual suspects. Find a Superior that you admire, possibly ask them to mentor you. Ask to be introduced to someone outside of your department.
Having a short coming like a lack of work experience, should never hold you back. Know you lack certain skills and doing nothing, will hold you back. By demonstrating that you are a hard worker, investing time and energy on sharpening your skills, finding a sounding board to shoot ideas and possibly be an advocate for you at work to help build your brand awareness, is only the beginning of building a solid foundation until people and your peers look at you as the subject matter expert.
Having credibility and being considered an influencer or subject matter expert does not happen overnight. It take years. For some the time is shorter. Those individuals are highly motivated and do not accept mediocre as end point. They understand the commitment required to excel and so can you.
The more you spread your wings and build awareness, the greater the chance that someone will see you as a shinning star. Now go do it!