EXPRESSIONS INDUSTRY Opinion

6 Confidence Boosters for Your Job Search

“Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practised, and mastered–just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.”

–Barrie Davenport

 In your quest for that dream job, you cannot go wrong with confidence. Confidence is an essential quality that every individual must have to be admired by others and to reach certain milestones in life.

You must believe in yourself before anybody else does. You have been declined several times in your search of a job, so what? You are not the first and you will not be the last job applicant to go through this process. You have the chance to bounce back in confidence with a new mindset and approach to how you apply for jobs and how you present yourself at interviews. Job seekers can be those who are employed but are looking for bigger opportunities, those who are currently jobless but have been employed before and those just entering the world of work after graduation. Whatever your status in job hunting may be, confidence is what you need to sail through.

Here are some confidence boosters for your job search:

Identify your skills. Know yourself and what you can offer. There is the need to update your skills as a job seeker. Make a list of your skills and personal characteristics that make you the most suitable candidate for the position you are applying for. Many times, candidates do not thoroughly go through job descriptions to identify the specific skills and personal characteristics required for an open position. Out of desperation, candidates sometimes apply for any job posting at all they come across and fail to find posts that fit with their skill set.  Apply to the right job. A match of relevant skills and experiences to what the job demands help in boosting your confidence and enables you to put your best foot forward in securing the job.

Enhance your resume or curriculum vitae. Your resume is your first point of contact with the company in charge of recruitment thus the need to make it count. In your CV, it is important to create a portfolio of achievements and experiences. Examine your life, career and experiences and list specific skills, experiences and achievements that position you well to handle the role. Make it a point to write your own CV rather than it being written for you. Be truthful and accurate about every detail you provide; when you are sincere, it makes you confident. You must not have one generic resume you circulate for every role you are applying for. It is not time wasting to redesign your CV for every job opportunity you come across because every job comes with its responsibilities, requirements and specifications. Your resume and cover letter must come out as convincing and persuasive as possible for it is your marketing tool to put you through for an interview. Then at the interview, you can effectively communicate your skills and what you can bring on board when you are hired.

Practice Interviews. Be prepared; learn everything about the position and the company. Last week I interviewed a candidate for a Labelling Machine Specialist role, and the gentleman showed a high level of confidence with how he communicated his skills. I was very much impressed with how he intelligently answered the questions pertaining to the role and there was no option than to put him through to the next stage of the employment process. At the interview, keep your answers straight to the point and simple; do not talk too much or too little. Prepare to ask relevant questions. This will throw more light on the position and help you to be sure whether the position is really for you. If you are prepared and you have the knowledge to back it up, your self-confidence will soar.

Dress for success. When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you tend to exude confidence. A person’s appearance says a lot about them even before the interview commences. Before the interview, you can research about the company to find out about their corporate culture i.e.: their style of dressing and colours. You can find an attire that is suitable for the job. Your attire must be neatly ironed. Take time to make sure you present yourself as neat and clean as possible. You do not have to wear too much jewellery or makeup. Polish your shoes, cut and clean your fingernails. Make sure the handbag or briefcase you choose is smart. Put on shoes that are comfortable enough to walk in and neatly style your hair.

Learn to make great first impressions. As the saying goes, ‘you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.’ Any time any day, be ready to be at your very best.  Arrive early at the interview and relax. Arriving early actually helps you to be relaxed. You do not want to get to an interview late, looking all tired and sweaty because you had to rush to get there. In the waiting area, keep a good body language and posture; do not fidget, make calls and laugh loudly. Do not look tired of waiting and do not engage in engrossing conversations with the other candidates while waiting. Keep a good eye contact, keep a warm and genuine smile and give firm but not breaking-the-bone handshakes. These communicate confidence. Be yourself and let your personality shine through the interview.

Be positive. Do not accept failure; get rid of the negative mindset and voices in your head. The road to securing a job is not all smooth. There may be a couple of rejections or you may not even get called for an interview after several job applications, but that should not crush your positive vibes. Press on. Use the waiting period to learn more, to improve. For all you know you might not be applying to the right jobs, so read more and keep looking out for the right career opportunity. Yes, you have competition but do not let that scare you. Many other candidates are out there applying for the same job so you must aim to stand out. If you do not get the job, follow up with the company to get feedback; this will enable you to perform better at your next job interview.

No situation is hopeless. Unemployment and circumstances that force you to leave your current job are not good experiences. You can, however, see it as an opportunity to buy some time to build your confidence and adequately prepare for your next job.

Article by Francisca Baafi, HR Assistant, KUSI Consulting.

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