How can you promote yourself for skills you are good at but lack the credentials?
I have a plethora of skill sets and I have the ability to work at different capacities, but I am having a difficult time marketing my skills to build a portfolio of projects. So how can I attract, pitch, or market my talents?
Volunteer for 1 week, or a few hours, for work in your field. Get that organization to recommend you, contribute to you Linked In profile, etc.
Join a non-profit board and offer assistance that relates to your field.
Write articles/papers about your work and offer them to local/industry periodicals.
Join your professional association and be active. If you spend time with successful people you will learn their strategies for success.
I'd suggest refining your mission statement, find a niche market, and pitch that from the perspective of engaging people whom could or should be interested in talking with you. Seek shorter meetings to ask about their challenges and listen, verbally confirm their concerns and then see how your skill set and services fit the situation and can solve their pain.
You can consider writing on your expertise with a blog or posting articles on the web to gain more exposure. You can seek public speaking opportunities where you live. You can join or just attend local business functions. Where I live they have a business journal, where they do extensive interviews and features on business and you can learn whom decision makers are and what they do. Read with insatiable curiosity.
Reach out and connect. Offer skills to non-profits to serve the community and connect with other generous business people.
Most of all, just keep moving forward and never let doubt "rule" the day.
Bottom line, people are looking for "Results"! If you can deliver and have a track record of doing so, even without credentials (depending on the industry), sell yourself based on those results!
I am sure that most of us (atleast those us who have taken the harder route) would have faced this challenge at some time or the other.
The answer is indeed quite simple – build the credentials!
That’s the tough part!
1. Do a very factual analysis of your personal and professional SWOT
2. Identify the strengths and eliminate the weakness / limitations / constraint. Let me give you a personal example: my greatest weakness was public speaking. I was very good at one to one communication. With deep introspection I found that I had a mental block. Having identified this issue, I went after this with a hammer and tongs. Actually designed and launched a video based program in 1989! this became an instant hit because people could see themselves as others see tham. The rest is history.
I learned and improvised as I went along…shared the results with existing clients and prospective clients too.
The credentials got built by word of mouth and participant feedback. I am talking about the time when electronic media was not common.
Best of luck
The main thing is to ensure that you emphasise the skills you have and how you have put them in to practice. If there is a particular position that you are targeting, get hold of the role profile and then tailor your application so that it reads back against the skills that they are looking for. Personally whenever I have been recruiting I never look at the qualification section as I'm really interested in whether the applicant has the experience that I am looking for. For me that shows you can actually do the job rather than just having the academic qualification.
Hi Antoinne, A couple of things.
The first thing I see by your question, is the fact that you are putting up a barrier, or objection, that someone may of used, Or it's something you are concerned about.
My first question is: Is this a real problem of just an excuse ?
Do you have "Faith" in yourself and your skill set. ?
Are you happy with the level and quality of your outcomes?
At this stage it has little to do with your prospects, and more to do with yourself.
Keeping in mind that if a prospect is not that interested, the will use any reason to say no.
Now taking the positive outlook. You are confident and more than happy with your quality or workmanship, and outcomes.
You know that having a piece of paper is no guarantee of great work.
It only indicates that you know how to study and pass exams.
It all counts once you are out of class and in at the coal face.
So in fact you may already have 3 -4 years head start.
I have found that following points are some of the best ways of promoting your self is:
1) Be yourself.
2) Promote how you can help people rather that promote your skills.
3) Be generous, with your time and skills.
4) Strike a balance, between payed and non payed projects. Not everything has to be done for a fee.
5) Always try to get referrals. If I am doing something for free, I will always say at the end of the project, "Thank you for allowing me to assist you on the project. It was a lot of fun, and very enjoyable.
If you are as delighted with the outcome as I am, would you please be so kind as to send to be your comments, for which I can use as a testimonial.
6) Only use the testimonial when speaking one on one. and only use the testimonials which relate to the industry type or project type you are working on. Keep it all relevant.
7) Contribute to discussion in LinkedIn. This also helps to demonstrate your knowledge and application. After a short time, you will find people are asking to join your circle.
8) Work on your LinkedIn ratios. Number of contacts to total number of confirmed skill acknowledgements.
If you look at mine you will see that I have more skills acknowledgements than I do contacts.
9) The more you put in the more you get out.
10) My last point is just like the add say's. "Just do it" which in this case implies
Just like a runner on a track, stay focused, on your race, on your corridor, and continue to be persistent.
The best thing you can do is write a series of blogs or better yet a book on those things that you consider to be your expertise. When people search for that topic, your name will continually pop up.
You have a personal branding dilemma. You may want to get: Personal Brand Planning for life, available on Amazon for some tips.
I would suggest you describe your self as a problem solver and then share the experience noting various skills such as project management, consultative selling, social media, conflict management or negotiation. That way the reader will pick up how you solved and with what techniques. Also, use key words for your skills that might narrow down the search. Conflict Management for example could be described more succinctly as conflict management in a work environment or between two executives. Good hunting.
In my experience, the best way to promote yourself is letting others know you face to face, workshops are the perfect tool to show up all your talents, skills and your charming personality.
The technology bring us the ability of working worldwide but the personal contact is the one that creates the best bounds.
Show them who you are!
Start writing about what you know ( Blog) You can do videos, audios, podcasts
I'm assuming you already have a website. Public speaking to local groups.
Join Forums, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups and answer questions in your area of expertise.
To your success,
I started out inviting 50 employers to a FREE 1 hr workshop' - 20 showed up.
I gave them my best -. had them fill out an evaluation by telling them I was asking 'feedback' on this new topic.
6 people said they'd like me to present it at their business.
I offered them an 'introductory' price as a Thank You ' for their feedback and ask them to write to 1 - 2 companies sharing their enthusiasm.
I've NEVER had anyone ask me for 'credentials'
There are a number of things one can do. It largely depends on what ones skills are. If it is in the product arena, then pohotos and samples may be the way to go. If it is in the realm of service then it is not so easy. Lots of articles on the subject that demonstrate knowledge and expertise may help. Providing a pro bono service and obtaining feedback and referrals from that may also help.
One has to give in order to receive so be free, at least initially, with your expertise and skills and, as you become more in demand, one can start to charge a fair price for your skills.
All the above advice from others is invaluable also. Some great ideas here. The good thing about this forum is that we all have a chance to learn from each other even when we were not the one asking the questions. I have learnt a lot just by reading the responses so many professionals give.
That is tough. If you are in a field that has designations or some visible training credentials you can try those without needing to go through extended programs. Otherwise look for training and teaching opportunities where you can showcase your knowledge in front of others. To find the right slot to prove yourself, you need to find someone in need to the point where the skills out weigh the credentials and prove yourself through experience.
Here are some suggestions:
Identify which of these skills that you have the most passion for doing. Prioritize them based on that. Passion sells!
Get client/customer or employee testimonials about the FABULOUS job you've done in these areas of expertise and share them everywhere.
Develop a short video introduction sharing your passion and experience in these areas. (Which includes testimonials.)
Write an e-book how-to ... This gives you instant creditability!
Simply it depends on the skills and the specific credential or credentials. You need certain licenses to do or perform certain professions. An example is a real estate license is needed. If you are a bookkeeper you don't have the skills of a CPA would have, and if you are a medical technician you are not a nurse or a doctor.
Good news: start earlier to get the classes. Or study for an exam. Take one at a time or two at a time. The longest journey starts with the first step. Good luck and all the best.
The best way to do this is to be able to share examples of projects where you have used that particular skill set. When you create your resume, you should take up very little space identifying the "job responsibilities" and instead create a list of bullet points that showcase the skills you used to accomplish an outcome. These accomplishment statements are designed to demonstrate the skills that you used and the success that you had in using them (i.e. the outcome). For each accomplishment statement on your resume (and hopefully they each speak to different skills), you should have a story to tell when asked to elaborate that encompasses WHAT you did (skills used) and what was the RESULT. The results should always be quantifiable if at all possible.
Join on-line forums and start commenting.
Search for events/associations which promote and bring together people with particular skills and join their conversations.
Simply by composing every skill you have whether you have credentials or not. I know a lot of excellent leaders and language artists who served bravely in the military but because they do not have a diploma, degree or piece of paper from some secondary learning institution, people look at them as unqualified. It's not what you can prove on paper that makes you valuable, it's what you can prove in the real world with real problems that need real solutions. Put it all on and let the interviewers sort them out. If you get to an interview, I promise they will ask and then you can educate them besides, how people do you know who showed the credentials but could not do the job?
Great question Antoinne... and great answer Elizabeth! So, I'll just add my nickel's worth. I was successful early in my career and now encourage my clients to do the following:
1. Find an established mentor that is having success in your niche
2. Build a relationship by establishing contact and sharing your thoughts about their work and your willingness to serve in a learning capacity (you would be surprised at how many would be willing to help you). Please make it a genuine relationship build with a stewardship mindset.
3. Collaborate with the established mentor on a project that you develop. In due time, this step will be a tremendous possibility and a great opportunity.
That's it in a nutshell, but done in the appropriate mindset, it works wonders! I hope tis helps...Keep the Faith!