Let’s face it, job searching is hard work! And depending on the circumstances that precipitated your job search, you may not believe you are the best candidate for any position right now. Confidence tends to falter after the loss of a job, even if you chose to leave. But it’s important to keep in mind that negative feelings can become a big obstacle in your job search. You might feel less motivated and may be unable to identify your value to a potential employer or be immobilized by anxiety. Although the job market is showing slow signs of opening up, the lack of tangible results can feel overwhelming. But if you take specific actions, you can help build up your confidence to jump back into the job search or feel motivated enough to step up your efforts.
Review Your Resume with Fresh Eyes
Look at your resume as if you haven’t seen it for years - for some of you that may be true. Don’t waste a lot of time making small or cosmetic changes. Instead, really trim your resume down and make it more concise. Remove everything that is unnecessary by using that fresh perspective to clear away any fluff that you may have been hanging on to. “Fluff” could include early career experience, hobbies and special interests, or unusual formatting. Remember, the resume is a business document, a calling card whose job it is to get you an interview. Make that your criteria as you review your documents. You want your documents to say, “Call this person for an interview, NOW!”
Be Confident and Maintain Control
In order to maintain your confidence, focus on your skills and accomplishments. This should also be a part of updating your documents. As you make the resume more concise, be certain that your achievements stand out and grab the reader’s attention. Think of your job description as a basic burger and the achievements as the garnishments that make you unique from every other candidate. What reader could resist compelling achievements that highlight your experience?
In addition, by reminding yourself of your strengths as you review your resume, you can increase your confidence. Greater confidence will motivate you to continue reaching out to potential employers. To be more successful, schedule tasks throughout the day that you control. For example, you are completely in charge of the contacts you make every day, even if you can’t always control the responses you receive. Controlling how your documents appear is another good example. You are in complete control of the image presented by your documents. If you don’t feel confident when you review your documents, consult with a professional to gain another perspective.
Let Off Steam
The job search can bring up a lot of mixed emotions. People often feel nervous and even ashamed that they are out of a job, or soon may be. Even though you may feel that there is no time for play, finding a way to do something besides worry about your job search might be the best thing you can do right now. Play a video game. Go for a walk. Call a friend who is also searching. But be sure to stay upbeat. Find a way to set aside the worry for just a few minutes, and you will return to your job search more focused.
Build your confidence by rebuilding your resume. Take a break, and then set about finishing the tasks on your list to get back on the job search track!