The Confidence Game
By Judi Perkins, FindThePerfectJob.com
This confidence game isn't a scam; it applies to those who have been job hunting with no results and are becoming discouraged - rapidly.
Start with Your Job Search
Let's go back to how most people search, because that's where the problem begins. Your cover letter neglects to tie you to the ad and your resume fails to entice. Or perhaps your cover letter sells and your resume is full of accomplishments, but you're answering unrealistic ads. Or perhaps you're targeting ads wisely but being overly picky - forgetting that ads tell if you want to interview, not if you want to work there.
Most people are unwilling to contact companies cold, and they're afraid to follow up. They're reaching recruiters in an ineffective manner. Between the cover letter, resume, and search method, nothing happens. Competition is stiff and only one person reaches the finish line.
The frustrating and discouraging thoughts begin: "Why is no one hiring me?", "I'll never get a job!", "Why doesn't anyone respond to my resume?" Discouragement breeds negative thoughts, which breed more discouragement, which breeds more negative thoughts, which are compounded by money worries, or how much you hate your job, or the lousy traffic, or the weather, or whatever. The worse it gets, the more it bleeds into everything else.
Then the phone rings, and someone wants to schedule an interview. After a moment of happiness, your earlier discouragement translates into self-doubt. If you're so good, why didn't those other companies call you? You hope this one goes well, but you wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't.
Guess what? It doesn't go well.
Are you surprised to know you created that outcome? Your thoughts are energy, and they influence your results. If you're thinking negatively, your body language will depict lack of confidence and joy, your tone of voice will be small and hesitant, and your sentences won't come out with assurance. Instead of sitting up straight and asking discerning questions, you'll be a less than stellar interview.
You don't feel confident, so you don't project confidence, thus you can't sell yourself. Why would you get hired?
Change for the Better
An overwhelming percentage of the time, this has nothing to do with your capability, skills, or marketability, and everything to do with things that can be changed. Those change the outcome, which changes your self perception, which creates positive results....and it spirals up, instead of down.
If nothing is happening, get help. Find out what the problem is. In the meantime, be aware of what you're telling yourself, because 90 percent of the time it isn't you, it's what you're doing - or not doing - and you're taking it personally. Job searching is a skill that can be improved, thus improving the outcome and your disposition.
Get Prepared Mentally
One reason why prep and homework are so important is because you remember the contributions you've made to your previous employers. This bolsters your self-confidence, diffusing your uncertainty and fear. When you're consciously reminding yourself of what you can bring to the table, you think, "I'm good! Someone is going to see that sooner or later, and they'll get a great employee!" And that confidence comes across instead.
Stay aware of what you're thinking. Stay aware of what's taking place with your demeanor. And, if you find it going downhill, find a way to boost yourself back up. Otherwise, you'll only perpetuate the problem.
Judi Perkins was a recruiter for 22 years. She's seen over 500,000 resumes, knows how hiring authorities think and how they hire. As a result she understands and teaches what other coaches don't: why the typical strategies in finding a job fail, what to do instead, why, and how. She's been on PBS's Frontline, in the May issue of Smart Money magazine, and frequently quoted in numerous articles for CareerBuilder, MSN Careers, Yahoo Hot Jobs, the New York Times, and featured as an expert in numerous career books. Sign up for her free newsletter at FindThePerfectJob.com.