Lacking Confidence? That May Be the Reason You're Still Job Searching

Selena Dehne, JIST Publishing

Job loss, rejection and inexperience can significantly undercut your confidence in the job search. This is problematic for many reasons. First, employers and recruiters can tell the difference between candidates who possess confidence and those who don't. If you're one of those who don't, employers are likely to wonder why they should have confidence in you when you don't seem to have any in yourself.

Confidence also plays a role in the way you job hunt and how successful you are in your endeavors. Odds are, if you lack confidence you're probably not:

  • Networking enough

  • Communicating your value in résumés, cover letters and interviews

  • Setting yourself up for a better job than your last

  • Negotiating the terms of your job offer -- should you be lucky enough to get one

"Landing the right job is about being hopeful and optimistic, as well as being determined and motivated to do what it takes to achieve your goal," says Lisa Caldas Kappesser, author of The Smart New Way to Get Hired: Use Emotional Intelligence and Land the Right Job.

"If you're not feeling confident, you need to ask yourself why and figure out how you can get past this feeling to increase your self-confidence. For example, one theme I hear from clients is a lack of confidence in their computer skills. This lack can be remedied by developing these skills through a course at the local college or library. You have to ask yourself how important it is to improve this area to get the job you want," she explains.

Below are some additional tips Kappesser offers for developing self-confidence in the job search:

  • Thoroughly prepare for your interviews. Know and rehearse your answers to interview questions.

  • Practice interviews with family members or friends and ask them to give you feedback on what you do well and on what you can do better.

  • Accept yourself. Admit your mistakes and move on.

  • Make a conscious effort not to compare yourself to others. Affirm your uniqueness. Remind yourself of your talents and strengths.

  • Surround yourself with positive people and positive situations. Job searching is a challenging and difficult process, and you will need the support of family, friends and possibly a career coach.

  • Focus on your strengths and accomplishments, not on your weaknesses and failures. Each day of your job search, be positive and remind yourself of your accomplishments and be proud of them.

  • Break challenging projects or activities into smaller parts and work on one part at a time. When you have accomplished one, move on to the next.

  • Write down your short- and long-term goals, both in your career and personal life, and list action steps to achieve those goals. Put a timeline on each goal.

  • Review your progress toward your goals on a weekly and monthly basis and make changes as needed. If you write down your weekly activities and progress, you can review your list and admire all that you have achieved this week.

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Selena Dehne is a career writer for JIST Publishing who shares the latest occupational, career and job search information available with job seekers and career changers. She is also the author of JIST's Job Search and Career Blog ( Follow her on Twitter at

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