Imagine you are the hiring manager of a large company. You have spent several days conducting interviews for an important position, and there are two final candidates you are deliberating over hiring. Both applicants are highly educated and possess similar skills sets and years of experience. However, one exudes confidence and the other does not. Which applicant will you offer the position to? Most likely you’ll choose the individual who seems self-assured.
Confidence is a characteristic that reflects value and can increase a job seeker’s chance of being hired; for this reason, candidates should do everything in their power to increase their level of confidence. Forbes’ Ken Sundheim says, “When you increase your confidence level, you are able to interview more effectively, negotiate higher salaries and, subsequently you will receive a wider number of offers.” Obviously, confidence is vital and must be cultivated by those seeking new work opportunities.
Why Some Job Seekers Lack Confidence
Few things erode confidence faster than unemployment. The shame that results from insufficient income and lack of productivity often plagues job seekers and compromises their self-confidence. If you find yourself in this boat, know that you can take action that will quickly increase your confidence.
Affirming Yourself Builds Confidence
Doesn’t it feel awesome when someone tells you that you are important and likeable? Of course. While it’s nice to hear things like this from others, these types of affirmations are most powerful when we say them to ourselves. In her article How to Be More Confident at Work, Jaquelyn Smith writes that “telling yourself three things that you like about yourself or three things that went well that day” each day will increase your confidence. You may be surprised at how quickly this activity will grow your feelings of self-assurance.
Communicate More Confidently
Brushing up on your professional communication skills can make you feel more confident rapidly. Here’s a quick primer in professional communication:
Do not misspell words – In your written communications (emails, resumes, letters, etc.), avoid misspelling words. Seeing misspelled words in resumes or even in an email may cause potential employers to dismiss you as a job candidate.
Increase verbal communication skills – Do you have good verbal communication skills? If you mumble, use words out of context, use clichés excessively, or commonly fill your conversations with ums and ahs, you probably don’t. However, you can increase your verbal communication skills by joining your local chapter of Toastmasters or practicing mock interviews with a friend.
Procrastination Feeds Lack of Confidence; Activity Starves It
The easiest way a job seeker can increase his or her confidence is to simply get busy with a job search. Procrastination facilitates lack of confidence but activity replaces it with assurance that all that can be done to mitigate a situation is being done. If you find job searching to be too daunting or stressful, the use of a career recruiter is advisable.
Are you a job seeker? If so, don’t make the mistake of underestimating confidence, as it is a quality that can make the difference between remaining unemployed or finding a great position.
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