The more credentials you have, the more your marketplace will see you as a recognized authority—also known as a guru—in your field.
And people want to do business with those they consider to be top experts in their industry or skill.
The easiest way to elevate yourself to guru status is to start with what I call “thin credentials”.
These are credentials that either are legitimate or else are perceived as legitimate by the marketplace…but are fairly easy to get.
And get them you should, because they are a quick way to jumpstart your career as a top guru in your niche.
For instance, when personal computing became a hot market in the 1980s, I got lots of calls to write promotions selling PCs and software…but I did not have credentials in the industry.
I had spent 4 years getting a BS in chemical engineering, which was the key credential that got me in the door as an industrial copywriter.
But PC software prospects were not as impressed. And I had neither the time, inclination, aptitude, brains, nor money to go back to college and earn a BS in computer science!
So instead, I got smart. I looked around at all the various IT certifications for the one that was the easiest and quickest to get.
To become a Certified Novell Engineer (I has a big client who sold education for Novell professionals) required half a dozen courses.
But to become a Certified Novell Administrator (CNA), a lower-level IT function, took only a single course.
I signed up for the course, paid the thousand dollar tuition (a lot of money back then), passed, and got my CNA certificate.
Now, when a potential computer client asked me what I knew about IT, I gave a crisp 3-word answer—”I’m a CNA.”
That instantly dispelled any doubt about my tech credentials and I almost always got the job. I think most IT Professionals did not realize how thin or light a credential the CNA was. And I felt no compulsion to educate them on this topic.
In healthcare, a heavyweight credential is to be an MD. But that takes 8 years to get. If you’re not up for going to med school, but want to establish yourself as an expert in health, there are many other trainings you can take that require perhaps only a few courses and may even grant you a certificate of completion—your thin health credential.
Just how thin a credential can be for you to feel comfortable parading it around on your CV is a personal decision. But it may surprise you to know I am a fan of getting thin credentials.
Their great value lies in the fact that the marketplace is impressed by them and is more likely to hire you because you have them. And perception is reality, so why fight city hall?
One of the easiest thin credentials available is to get yourself listed in a Who’s Who directory; click here to find out how.
Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.