How do I choose the best subject matter expert?

A history of publishing in industry journals or peer-reviewed journals is typically a strong indicator of a person’s expertise in the subject.

When choosing a subject matter expert, you must first consider his professional accomplishments and credentials and determine if he really is an expert. You should then find out if the subject matter expert has experience working on projects similar to those for which you need to hire a consultant. Finally, you must determine if your services are affordable and if he or she is able to meet deadlines and will be available for timely consultation on your project or projects.

A subject matter expert can work with technical writers to ensure the accuracy of product manuals.

Many companies that develop educational courses or publish training materials rely on third-party contractors to write these materials, review materials, or provide suggestions for new product ideas. These contractors are known as subject matter experts and are typically people with a high degree of experience, education and authority in their fields. Because editors may not have significant or specialized knowledge of the subjects covered by courses or textbooks, they may rely heavily on the knowledge of a subject matter expert.

Subject matter experts are often employed to develop educational courses.

Carefully evaluate the resume or curriculum vitae provided by a subject matter expert. Your educational achievements must be consistent with those of other recognized authorities in a field or industry. For example, if a person in a particular profession is expected to have a master’s degree to exercise and supervise others, the subject matter expert must also hold at least a master’s degree. All educational credentials must also be verified for legitimacy.

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The subject matter expert’s professional experience should also be reviewed and verified. Ideally, an expert should have significant real-world experience in the areas for which they consult. Look for breadth and breadth of experience. The subject matter expert must have a long work history in which he or she has consistently advanced in his or her profession and taken on new responsibilities. Talk to employers, colleagues, and past clients about the consultant’s work ethic, quality of work, and ability to complete projects on time.

Other considerations include gaining recognition and respect in your industry. Awards from an employer or, better yet, an industry association can be a good indicator of a candidate’s competence. Find out if he or she has teaching experience or has been invited to speak at events. Review your publishing record. A history of publishing in industry journals or peer-reviewed journals is typically a strong indication of a person’s competence and experience.

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