The answer is unequivocally no.
I am a subject matter expert (SME) in resume writing and related services. I am not an SME expert in equine therapy.
Patrick Mahomes is an SME in football. He is not an SME in commercial truck driving (at least I don’t think he is?)
One more, for fun.
Erika Andiola is an SME on immigration rights and politics. She is probably not an SME on mycology, aka fungus. I don’t actually know that either, but if I had to bet on it, I’m going with she isn’t.
The point is unless you are truly an expert on the matter, you’re not a subject matter expert and cannot claim to be one on your resume. Why? Because it will be obvious if you’re lying on your resume.
What is SME?
A Subject Matter Expert is a person with a mastery skill level, or extensive knowledge, in one specific area.
Encyclopedia.com defines it better. They state an SME is “a highly knowledgeable individual who performs specialized functions in given organizational processes. SMEs work either as external consultants or internal staff, and they provide technical advice on process designs and product specifications that organizations must adopt to maximize returns on investments.”
We’ll go with their definition for the purpose of this post.
Famous SMEs in History
As an entertaining side note, it was interesting to learn (because I am NOT an SME in SME) that the idea of subject matter expertise has been in practice since the great philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato due to their authoritative views. Timeline, that puts it around 450 B.C.E. which is approximately 2450 years ago.
Here is a list of other famous women who were not only SMEs in their fields but also trailblazers and the subjects they are experts in.
|Statistician and Nursing
|Particle and Experimental Physicist
|Track and Field
|Italian Baroque Art
|Lina Bo Bardi
These women were not only SMEs in their fields but also trailblazers. Thanks, ladies.
Am I an SME?
How to Become an SME
STEP 1: Gain Knowledge
The running theme of SMEs is they have an extensive amount of knowledge. They are NOT ‘Jack of all trades, master of none . . .” as Adam Savage said. If you want to become an SME in order to share your knowledge and leave a lasting footprint in your field, learn as much as you can in your chosen field.
STEP 2: Seek Education
Learn from other SMEs. Maybe they are doing things a little differently in a more efficient way. Learn from it, and make your processes even better. You can do this by connecting on LinkedIn and asking questions. You could attend conferences in your industry. Stay current on trends and the latest news of your field.
STEP 3: Be an Authority
Let people know you know what you’re talking about. You can do this by positioning yourself as an expert on social media or Q&A forums. Sign up to be a speaker at conferences and the like. Become a presence in your area of expertise’s community.
STEP 4: Be Authentic
You need to be a trusted expert. That means it’s a good time to give some information away. Share your knowledge freely. Positioning yourself as a salesman will decrease your authority and authenticity.
Why Should I be an SME?
Being an SME will make you a highly valuable employee that can also offer consulting services. You would be able to provide very unique, specialized knowledge in your specific area, which will make you highly sought out by employers and your peers where you’re currently employed.
Knowing this, you can think of it in a couple of reasons for personal satisfaction in your work. 1. You enjoy helping others and love sharing what you know or 2. You like being valued, needed, and ahead of the competition. Both are completely acceptable ways of enjoying your status as SME.
Need to position yourself as an SME on your resume? Let Resume Assassin help!
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