An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education titled,"Can Digital 'Badges' and 'Nanodegrees' Protect Job Seekers from First-Round Knockout?" got us thinking about the current role of badging in the process of searching for jobs. As the article points out - at this moment in time - the standard resume is still the most-used tool for HR recruiters to receive and assess job applications.
Many companies rely on algorithm-based software to comb through resumes in the early stages of the application process, tossing out any that don't include specific keywords relevant to the job posting. So how can badges offer an advantage to job seekers?
Badges are an effective networking tool
Although it's a natural tendency to spend lots of time scouring job posting sites, hoping to hit upon a few opportunities that fit your career path, most job openings are not actually published. Networking with friends, family and former co-workers is a great way to find out about those hidden opportunities. The key is to package yourself in a way that is succinct and easily understood by both a former colleague and your Aunt Susan. That's where badges come into play.
Be clear about what you can do and how you can contribute
Badges provide clarity around terms that might not have much meaning to someone not directly connected to a particular industry or academic field. They do this by clearly stating
When you share a badge from Acclaim to networking sites, we provide the option of including a customized message because we think it's important for you to provide further context about your achievement and what you can offer an employer as a result.
For example, someone sharing her Professional in Human Resources badge, conferred by the HR Certification Institute, might customize her message to say: I've mastered the technical and operational aspects of HR management, which makes me a great fit for companies seeking a Compensation and Benefits Manager.
Your credentials and skills can be verified, instantly
It's easier than ever for an employer, a manager, or anyone else you share your badge with to verify that the skills you have were gained through meaningful activities and conferred by a respected organization. All they have to do is click your badge to verify who issued your credential or recognition, when and why.
As badges become more mainstream, employers will begin to seek them out during the hiring process. Badges will provide HR managers with the kind of verified information that will help them make more informed hiring decisions - and will help you better articulate the value you can offer a company.
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