How to be Confident in Your Job Search

Posted April 25, 2019

By Amy Wolfgang in News and Updates

Many of my clients struggle with confidence during their job search. After all, the reason you are in the market could be due to confidence-busting factors like: a terrible work experience at your current company, a break from the workforce, a layoff, or a general lack of fulfillment.

There are many more scenarios, but one thing that plagues many individuals in a career search is how to be confident. Questions from your inner critic can ring in your head. Am I good enough? Will anyone hire me? Are my skills relevant? What if there are others with better skills, better experience, younger, up on the latest technology?

Sound familiar? When I work with my career development clients through a job search, we look at things that are out of their control and touch on how to mitigate those factors. However, most of our time is focused on what the individual can control. We also focus on both the “being” side—who you are—and the on the “doing“ side—the action you take.

There are many ways to increase your confidence in a job search and I’ve listed five below. The first three are doing and the last two are on the being side of the equation.

1. Identify what is in your control.

Ask yourself the question: What is in my control? Make a list. It might be your branding message on your resume or LinkedIn. It might be your messages to your network. It might be a certification you want to achieve. This list will give you tangible things to work on.

2. Remember your unique selling point.

We all have a unique selling point—something we bring to the table that others don’t. This might be a skill, personality trait, or even an experience. It might be different depending on the job, or it might be one that transcends several positions. Identify it and own it.

3. Practice hard questions.

Practice answering the questions you don’t want to be asked in the interview. Get them out in the open and think carefully about how you would like to address them. If you aren’t asked those questions, wonderful! However, you will build your confidence and eliminate anxiety as you know you are prepared.

4. Get in the right frame of mind.

Before an interview, get into the right headspace. For some, that could mean a quick meditation. For others, it might mean looking at a picture or image to focus in on a positive outcome. Some individuals are auditory and benefit from a pump-up song. I still remember the song being played before my first half-marathon. I was so scared of that race, but that song continues to inspire me today.

5. Quiet your inner critic.

The inner critic, that voice in your head that likes to say you’re not good enough or worthy enough for a new opportunity, gets louder as we try new things. It is a manifestation of your safety instinct and will always be with you. However, you have a choice. You can listen and internalize that voice, or you can hear the voice and not take direction from it.

Remember, you will not go from feeling a lack of confidence to feeling extremely confident in one step. It takes time. Begin by taking these small steps and you will be surprised at how quickly things turn around.