It is often difficult for others to identify the difference between confidence and aggression, particularly when you are unknown to a person and you are on the hunt searching for a job. By toning down your front just a little, you might be in line to impress your future employer and nail your dream job.
Here are a few suggestions on how to project just the right level of confidence:
1. Recognise that networking takes time: When you get desperate in your job-search it can be tempting to bombard your LinkedIn connections with requests or begin throwing your resume at everyone and anyone who’ll take it, without engaging in any real conversation with them about your skills, knowledge and experience. This will not yield a good relationship with these people and will make them much less likely to consider you over someone they have a real connection with. Take time when you meet new people to listen to them and speak thoughtfully. Don’t be too hasty in asking them for job assistance, wait for the right time.
Tip: Be patient, but more importantly, be able to describe what you can offer that is different to any other job seeker. This may prove you to be a ‘better fit’.
2. Know your boundaries as an applicant: Some career advisors suggest that their applicants conclude cover letters by saying something like: “I look forward to meeting with you for an interview and will call you next week to arrange an appropriate time”. This approach may be overstepping your responsibility as an applicant and in some circles could be perceived as rude.
Tip: A better way to show you are keen is to follow up to ensure your application was received or simply express how valuable it would be if you were given the chance to speak further with them in person.
3. Demonstrate why you are the best candidate: Rather than making broad statements that could potentially be perceived as arrogant, pushy or generic, such as: “I’m the best person for this job” that can often dissuade a company from considering you and / or dissuade a LinkedIn connection from referring you to their connection(s).
Tip: Work on your unique points but be genuine and be able to evidence and substantiate your prior achievements.
4. Don’t push too hard at the end of your interview: Interviewers will often ask at the conclusion of the formal part of your interview if you have any questions or areas for the panel to clarify. Some applicants may use this opportunity to ask questions such as: “do I have the job?” or “when can I start?” in an effort to seem confident and eager. This approach may deter some interviewers if you come across as being pushy. On the other hand, some interviewers may appreciate your boldness. Only if you feel confident in judging their personality upon such a brief encounter should you go forth and ask such questions but know the risk you are taking.
Tip: Ask a question such as: “what do you consider to be the 3 most important areas for the successful applicant to focus on within the first 3-months following appointment?”
Hopefully these tips have helped you to see that confidence in moderation is the key to success in your job search and career. Work on your unique experiences, let your personality shine, and in time you will undoubtedly see better results and will achieve success in your job search.
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