During every employment evaluation, a potential employer has to validate your skills based on what you report on your resume. The most common probe is through references by asking them about their experiences with you. In addition, your years of experience with a skill is another commonly used indicator. However, with a professional website, it is much easier to share samples of your work – coursework, publications, or a portfolio. With a skills based approach, the last step is to find ways to validate your skills and then present them.
According to the survey, Skills Based Approach, the highest ranked way to validate a skill is through a sample of work (1.81) and this not surprising for a couple of reasons. First, evaluating a sample of work is completely unbiased. It is possible to review a sample of work and draw your own conclusions; there is no circumstantial evaluation by a reference or professor. Second, samples of work add dimensions to an employment evaluation not available with a standard resume. I can think of a few examples: a linguist can share a video while they are conversing; an artist or graphic designer can share a portfolio of their work; and a financial analyst can share a catalogue of papers they wrote. And there are many more examples, almost every type of professional career creates some type of work sample.
Many respondents (21%) ranked “certificate from a third-party” first or second. Before the survey, I thought this would be the highest ranked method of verifying a skill set. However, after going through the results of the survey, I realized that the use of certifications is concentrated in certain areas: IT, finance, and accounting. This explains why some respondents ranked it high, but most respondents ranked it low.
In one question on the survey, I asked whether “years of experience” or “application of a skill” is a better indication of someone’s level of expertise of a skill. Most of the respondents (70.94%) favored the “application of skill” over “years of experience”, though a few respondents (16.24%) “strongly favor” years of experience.