Self-Confidence and the Job Search
This is a guest post by Karen McGee, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs/Acting Director, Career Development Center at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Simply put, Karen is one of the most important mentors in my career and taught me EVERYTHING about networking. So soak this up.
The one thing job hunters must exude is confidence. The one thing a job search can drain is your confidence. Some tips on maintaining your self confidence during the job hunt:
1. Periodically review your resume and remind yourself of the good things you've done. Perhaps reword some things or change the emphasis in some descriptions. Tweaking a resume is a helpful exercise.
2. Connect with past co-workers and bosses with whom you have good relationships. People who 'knew you when' can help boost confidence, remind you of your strengths AND provide networking opportunities and additional contacts.
3. Make a focus list of your strengths, interests and skills. Not only will this remind you that you DO have things to offer but it'll give you something to talk about with contacts and employers.
4. Volunteer where someone/place needs your skills. If you are a graphic designer, offer to design a brochure for a local non-profit. If you're an organizer, volunteer at a charity fundraiser. You'll be using your skills, doing good AND meeting new people (contacts).
IMPORTANT NOTE: A dip in self confidence is NOT to be confused with "chronic negative attitude". You know the type -- the complainers, the 'it's someone/thing else's fault" or the 'no one's helping me' people. Periodic lapses in self confidence happen to all, but most people can pull themselves out of it for interviews, etc.
'Chronic negative attitude' is a pervasive condition that affects interviews, networking, presentation of self, job hunt approach, etc. Unfortunately, not much can be done for these folks because they rarely recognize it in themselves. So...if you are experiencing a lapse in self confidence (and who hasn't?) -- chin up! YOU have skills that others need. It's your job to find out who those people are, where they are and then let them know you exist and can help them.
What other suggestions or tips can you share that kept you going? Please comment below.