Staying confident in a competitive job market


Have you ever felt the wave of tension and nerves upon first venturing into a career fair or networking event? What about running into the guy in your major who always seems to “one-up” you in everything?

It’s so easy to constantly compare ourselves to others. For some, the comparison even becomes automatic- when first meeting a peer we’ll wonder who they are and where we rank against them. Of course, a little bit of friendly competition is healthy. But when you begin to allow other peers’ expertise to intimidate you, it can hinder how you portray yourself. This blog will help you navigate the job market based on your own story, and confidently shape your experiences without sounding too generic or boastful.

Confident yet Humble—Walking the Fine Line

State facts instead of being subjective. Subjective: I am really great at fundraising and I am a strategic leader. Fact: I lead a 10 person team to develop fundraising strategies which resulted in $5,000 donations for our organization. You can be impressive and credible by stating facts (add in numbers and results for a bonus!) When sharing what you’re involved in or what internships you’ve had, be sure to note how that experience allowed you to learn something applicable for the new position you’re being considered for. What projects did you work on? What new perspectives did you provide during your time there? Why are you passionate about that organization?

Perspective on a “So-So” Internship

Let’s face it, not every internship is ideal. You might have toughed out your second-choice internship one summer, but your willingness to try is still worth acknowledging. A recruiter would rather hear what skills you gained related to the job than about why your overall experience was mediocre.

Busy all the time? That’s a Strength in Itself

We’re all busy in our own ways. It’s important to position that being busy means you’re great at time management and prioritization. In addition to listing everything off, use your balance of activities, involvement, work and school as a way to present your ability to wear multiple hats.

Portray Confidence Before Speaking

You’ve heard it before- first impressions are everlasting. Body language plays a huge role in this and you’d be surprised at the subconscious things you may be doing that can be improved upon. Check out the 4 body language cues you need to know when networking.

Quantify your Experiences

Stand out from the rest on paper first by quantifying the information you already have in your resume. This link describes how to amplify the content you have using simple data and numbers.

Stay Relaxed

Lastly, the best way to be confident is to practice. Radiating a prepared and calm vibe from the start will set the scene for smooth sailing. For tips, reference this list from Forbes on the 14 tips for staying calm during a job interview.

The CCO is here to help! From resume guidance to peer mock interviews, we have plenty of various services. Just drop by YOUNG 132 Mondays-Fridays between 10am-4pm, or schedule an appointment online.

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© 2017 by PurdueCCO Marketing Team.