24 Feb 3 Ways to Boost Your Confidence on the Job Search
Let’s face it. The job search is an emotional rollercoaster with high highs and low lows. Staying energized and engaged in your daily hunt for the dream job can be tricky, and keeping your professional mojo intact is even more challenging. The constant grind of job searches, resume edits, and applications—not to mention the impossible maze of career portals that don’t import your resume correctly with quirky formatting requirements can be unbearable. It can be easy to get phased; in fact, it’s human.
And with record-high layoffs and job applicants on the rise, fielding canned responses or rejections from employers can get discouraging after taking the time to make it through the application process and re-read and re-edit your cover letter. Whether you are searching for a professional upgrade or you were recently laid off, looking for a new position takes a mental and emotional toll. Not having a stable job can be brutal on your mental health and often feels deeply personal. Because along with losing status, income, interactions with the coworkers who you connect with daily, and structure, there’s always a level of anxiety and uncertainty about what comes next.
Self-care is an essential aspect of the job search that we don’t talk enough about, taking time to recharge and boost your confidence, especially when it’s shaky. And being able to ask for help. Here are a few tips to help you stay positive and centered while you continue the hunt:
1. Go ahead, fish for compliments.
The lack of control we have in our job search can be overwhelming and induce a raging case of imposter syndrome that leaves you questioning your skills and professional prowess. Acknowledge that feeling this way is normal and bringing in an outside perspective is helpful.
Enlist your work buddies, prior managers, and other colleagues to help you articulate your professional abilities and strengths in a meaningful way. Bringing everything you have to offer an employer into focus can bolster your resume, your interviews, and your confidence.
Next, divide your responses into categories like leadership, team building, business acumen, technical aptitude, passion, and integrity. Use these highlights to write a professional summary or snapshot that makes your achievements and rarer skills pop. Typing it out helps you remember your strengths when interviewing and searching. And it can also give you some ideas to improve your LinkedIn profile and resume.
Another way to enlist feedback is to send colleagues requests for recommendations on LinkedIn (this is especially relevant right after a layoff or company restructuring when your network is primed and ready to assist). Adding more recommendations to your profile builds your credibility while helping you remember your value to any workplace. Remember, your skills and achievements are yours to take wherever you go.
When you’re factoring all of this into your LinkedIn profile and resume updates, you can spell out for potential employers when you were part of a nonperformance-related workforce reduction extra points to add that you have a manager on the ready as a reference. Or you can add to position descriptions—see my LinkedIn recommendations to see how my [employer name] manager describes my work and professionalism.
It’s easy to take a job loss or a challenging job search personally. It can feel like the ultimate rejection when a recruiter goes missing in action; a company moves forward with other candidates, or worse, they never acknowledge your application in the first place. Plans can fall through, and even employee referrals aren’t guaranteed to get your resume in front of a hiring manager. All of this is painfully frustrating and mentally draining. But it’s important to remember that you aren’t alone. Forty percent of job seekers list not hearing back from recruiters as a main frustration.
Follow the #opentohire and #opentowork hashtags on LinkedIn to maintain perspective on just how many people are navigating the same challenges you are. Join professional networking and support groups to keep your eyes on the big picture.
Also, make sure you are making time to step aside—exercise, read a book, or relax—give yourself some space from your job search regularly. It may feel like it, but it isn’t your whole life or your identity. And it won’t go on forever.
Tuning into some TedTalks or motivational podcasts can also help you keep your morale up before and during interviews so you can project the professional confidence and swagger that makes you memorable and engaging. If you’re looking for a mantra to get you out of bed and pumped ahead of phone screens and Zoom interviews, I highly recommend I Didn’t Come This Far To Only Come This Far (on repeat). Or tune into a Ted X with Lisa Chmiola on Leaning into a Layoff or this TedTalk from Chetan Mahajan on Why A Layoff May Be A Good Thing.
Feeling alone in your job search is easy, but asking for support and help is healthy. Identifying the right recruiter who takes the time to understand your passions, skills, and career goals is critical to building more assurance and structure in your job search. A recruiter who takes the time to connect with you, update you on opportunities, and check in on how your interviews are going is a critical advocate to have in your corner.
Let’s give your professional mojo a boost!
We’re here and ready to support you in your job search. Staffing Strong represents a broad roster of employers actively growing their businesses with new full-time and contract hires. Let’s talk! Submit your resume today.
Meet the Author
Evelyn Vega is the Founder and President at Staffing Strong and the Past President of the Phoenix American Marketing Association. Since 1999, she’s made her career about supporting her clients in building meaningful careers and partnering with businesses in finding quality hires. In her free time, Evelyn sits on various advisory boards and enjoys practicing on her drum set!