What is Professional Credibility?
In simple terms, Professional credibility is the level to which a professional can be trusted and depended on for their professional skills by colleagues, customers, and partners who work with this professional regularly, which can be referred to as a professional ecosystem.
The vital distinction is that credibility is based on the perceived value and opinion of the professional ecosystem and not on the professional's personal opinion. For example, it means nothing if John feels he is a star performer. However, if his professional ecosystem feels he is a star performer, it is a strong endorsement of his professional credibility.
Professional credibility - An analogy that we are familiar with?
Let us start with something we are all familiar with: product reviews!
Today, almost all of us buy a product only after checking the verified online reviews before making a purchase decision. We do that because it helps us verify the product's credibility from its buyers.
In the professional world, it gets complex as the skills of a professional (humans) change over time, and other factors like emotions and ego also play a significant factor in a professional's work. This is not the case with a product like a mobile phone, as the features will remain the same during the course of use. You may only see some wear and tear issues, but that is a minor factor.
For professionals engaged in short-duration services that can last a few days in the utility industry, reviews on Angie's list work well. However, for professionals considering full-time employment or long-term contracts, the above approach will not perform as it does not show whether this professional is a consistent or erratic performer, which is an essential deciding factor.
How do you build professional credibility?
One simple option is to request your folks from your professional ecosystem to provide feedback on your performance. LinkedIn offers this feature called recommendations. LinkedIn recommendations provide insight into a professional's skills. However, it has the following disadvantages
- One-time snapshot view
- The format and description of each recommendation are different, making it difficult to understand
- In most cases, these are solicited for good reviews and may not represent a holistic view
Due to the above challenges, LinkedIn recommendations may only help establish professional credibility. In their defense, LinkedIn is a professional networking portal and not a credibility platform, and it does a great job of that.
The other approach to establishing credibility is to do the following
- Send a milestone of your accomplishment regularly (bi-weekly or monthly) to all folks in your professional ecosystem
- Get their feedback for each milestone
- Process their feedback to get a rating that is easier for others to understand
- Keep all feedback anonymous to get proper feedback
- Feedback can be provided in an open format and very quickly, less than 2 mins
Adopting the above would help to establish true professional credibility. As a professional, how do I get it done?
getCREDIBLE platform focused on establishing professional credibility has implemented that, and you can get started for free to see how it works. This platform also helps you build a digital version of your resume called Slate to present your professional credibility information in an interactive, timeline-based format.
Leveraging Professional credibility for career growth
Having discussed how to establish professional credibility, the next important step is to use it for career growth within the organization where you are currently employed and to find your dream job with a new employer. The strategies may differ slightly, and they are explained below.
Professional credibility for career growth within an organization?
Most organizations have an annual appraisal cycle. A few of them have been talking about having shorter cycles of appraisal. However, it does not happen in a structured manner as they do not have systems to capture continuous feedback. Typical appraisal cycles have the following challenges.
- Most of the decisions are being made by the reporting manager. Although the manager's feedback is essential, there needs to be more weightage given to that.
- Emotions and ego between the employee and manager play a significant role instead of the employee's performance playing a major role.
- While the appraisal cycle may be for 12 months, higher weightage is given for the last three months due to memory loss for the preceding nine months.
Using the getCREDIBLE platform to engage with all members of your professional ecosystem continuously and sharing your digital profile (Slate) with your manager for an appraisal conversation enables you to have an objective and transparent conversation, removing all the challenges faced in the current appraisal process to demand growth.
Another significant advantage you will have is the ability to identify a weakness early in the year and improve it before the appraisal conversation with your manager.
Professional credibility to find your dream job outside your organization
Traditional resumes or LinkedIn profiles are two common means to represent a professional's skills. In both these cases, an outside view or continuous feedback from the professional ecosystem needs to be included. Recruiters or hiring managers mainly rely on professional networks or references to find suitable candidates. This approach severely limits the potential for a good candidate.
In the case of a professional with Slate, potential recruiters and managers can search for candidates with desired skills and rating levels with the confidence that the candidate's professional ecosystem provides these ratings.
Once inside Slate, they can view a timeline-based graph of the skills that are important for the job, making the new job come to the candidate and putting the suitable candidates in the driving seat in the job search process.
Being a digital format, Slate also makes it easier to share in different social media channels using short links and track the metrics around it like page view, duration, forwards, etc.
Continuous feedback from all members of your professional ecosystem is essential for your career growth within and outside your organization. It also helps to strengthen your skills further, making you a complete professional.
You can either get this feedback manually and collate it for your following appraisal conversation or use a platform like getCREDIBLE, which does all the work for you and builds a digital version of your resume called Slate giving you a head start in career growth.
Good luck building your professional credibility!