Even under the best of circumstances, job searching can feel anywhere from draining to downright discouraging. We’ve all experienced the feelings of hope and excitement when we spot the perfect opportunity, the stress and confusion around submitting a flawless application, and the crushing defeat of receiving the “we-went-with-an-internal-candidate” email. I know that I have struggled to avoid taking all of this personally and have had more than a few pretty serious moments of self-doubt during my job searches. If you can relate, read on for a few tips to boost your confidence as you embark on your next job search.
1. Slow down
A conventional piece of job search wisdom dictates that “if you’re not currently employed, your job search needs to become your full-time job.” I understand the sentiment behind that statement, but the idea of spending 40 hours each week scouring job boards, tailoring resumes, and writing cover letters sounds unrealistic to me.
That said, do set weekly goals for yourself, but build some variety into your week. In addition to your job search, volunteer your talents in your community (and build your network!), spend time with family and friends, and take care of yourself. Spending some time recharging will boost your job search productivity.
2. Get connected
Many companies adhere to policies that require them to post all opportunities externally, even when they have an ideal internal candidate waiting in the wings. As an applicant, you would be completely unaware of this invisible competition.
Additionally, networking plays an enormous role in the hiring process. An external candidate who comes with a metaphorical stamp of approval from a current employee has a clear advantage in landing the role. Use this to your advantage! Build and leverage your network of contacts to help you apply for your next opportunity so that you earn that stamp the next time around.
3. Take inventory
It can be tempting to dive into a job search headfirst, sending out dozens of applications in a couple of days. While that level of productivity can feel satisfying at first, you’ll likely have more success if you take the time to create a strategy around your job search. Start by thoroughly assessing your accomplishments, skills, and traits and assuring that your application documents reflect your best strengths.
When you partner with ReFresh Your Step, you’ll learn how our Kapitalize method can help you to identify your own Pattern of Excellence, thereby helping you to launch your job search with a boost of confidence.
4. Be selective
Not every opportunity will be worth the time and effort you put into submitting the application. Carefully evaluate each posting before you hit the “Apply” button and take the time to do some research. Do you meet at least 80% of the desired qualifications? Do you know anyone affiliated with the organization who might be able to facilitate an introduction? What do you know about the organization’s mission, goals, and culture? If a particular role aligns with your standards, start by identifying a potential networking contact before submitting an online application, which will improve your chances of success.
5. Gain perspective
We live in a culture that (IMHO) places an inappropriate amount of value on work. At one time or another, we have probably all felt tempted to define ourselves only by our role title. Remember, you are so much more than your job.
When the stresses of a job search weigh heavily upon you, take a step back and remember the various other roles you fulfill in your life. Focus on your relationships, your hobbies, and your self-care to recharge your internal batteries so that you have energy to prepare for that upcoming interview, tweak that resume, or make that networking call.
6. Partner with a professional
When you need a confidence boost during your job search, partnering with a professional can make all the difference. For over 10 years, ReFresh Your Step has been assisting working professionals to navigate change, find career fulfillment, and build resilience.
Our clients often report more confidence after partnering with us to develop a strategy for the next step of their careers, create a resume that truly reflects their top-notch accomplishments, or craft talking points to wow their next interview committee. The job search process can challenge even the most competent candidates – why not partner with a professional to ease the burden and boost your confidence?
By following these tips, you’ll be ready to tackle your next job search with the confidence you need make a stellar impression at every step of the recruiting process.