Tips for enhancing professional credibility

How you’re perceived by others has a lasting impact. Impressions and credibility can go a long way toward determining whether you will receive that job offer, a promotion or get selected for a new development group. And unlike in high school, how you are perceived by your professional peers is more than just about who you hang out with and what you wear (luckily!).

Your ability to succeed in the workplace can often come down to your professional credibility. If your peers, colleagues, managers and clients feel as if you can deliver them an exceptional product or service, you will most likely feel confident in your abilities. However, gaining this gold star on your professional report card isn’t as easy as showing up to the job and completing assignments. You have to work to develop a reputation as someone who can consistently perform.

A recent Yahoo News article observed that your credibility is made up of three main components – your behaviors, your values and your reputation. As a result, it will take a three-pronged attack for you to build up your credibility. You can’t just walk into your office and hope people recognize what you can bring to the table if you haven’t developed a professional reputation of credibility and accomplishment.

Clients are looking up professionals on social media networks and using the crystal-ball abilities of Google to try and see into individuals’ past. It’s now a lot harder to hide those inappropriate tweets or embarrassing Facebook photos. Research has found that more than one-third of companies are using social networking sites to check out job candidates – that’s in addition to the 37 percent who are using social media to make their hiring decisions, reports CareerBuilder. If companies are doing this research about job candidates, they most likely are also researching the staffing firms and professional recruiters they are dealing with.

“Because social media is a dominant form of communication today, you can certainly learn a lot about a person by viewing their public, online personas,” Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuiilder, told the news source.

Your behaviors in and out of the office will impact your ability to create a professional reputation of credibility. You may be thinking to yourself “But, that’s not fair!” One of the unfortunate casualties of the increasing digitalization of our lives means that the house party you went to in college or a flippant comment could come back to haunt you. Just as your staffing software compiles the details of candidates and how they appear on the web, your own past may be used to determine your strength as a team member. However, you can’t just start to erase your entire presence online. First off, it’s not going to work. Second, your online profiles are an asset that can help you achieve professional credibility. Posts, papers, comments and forum discussions where you contribute ideas or resources can demonstrate your staffing industry knowledge and expertise.

In the professional sphere, behaviors that can boost your credibility include only promising what you can successfully do, instead of overselling. Overly sales-oriented communication can leave a hollow feeling between you and the other person, and that’s never good!

Another key practice: try and maintain honesty in your communications. Similar to the last point, people are much more forgiving if projects don’t make a deadline or something is lackluster if you were up front with them from the beginning.

You know what is really going to help set you apart? Facts and figures. Research and knowledge about the trends that are impacting the staffing industry show your colleagues and recruiters that you actively ensure you’re up-to-date about what’s going on. When talking to potential clients, research and know their industry in detail so that you can offer a quality service. Instead of resting on your laurels, you’re educating yourself about things that can contribute to the development of new products or services – and that’s what businesses really want!

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