April 19, 2014
Toeing the line between confidence and arrogance is an easy line to cross during your job search. Sure, you might have strong technical skills and experience. You probably have a great network and personal brand, too. And chances are, you probably can find a colleague who can write you a glowing letter of recommendation. But can all these things truly set you apart during your job search?
If you have many of these traits, you may not realize an underlying problem that could negatively impact your job search: your ego. Although confidence is a good quality to have, it’s important not to be overconfident as a job seeker. Fifty-six percent of job seekers say they’re confident they know what employers are looking for in a candidate. However, only 15 percent of hiring managers say nearly all or most job seekers have the skills and traits they’re looking for in a candidate. This shows how important it is for job seekers to remain level-headed during their search.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s definitely good to walk into any interview with an “I’ve got this!” mentality. However, you need to keep yourself in check. Here are four signs to be aware of:
1. You aren’t seeking advice from mentors.
One of the biggest mistakes you could make during your job search is not having a mentor. Seventy-four percent of hiring managers say job seekers should have a mentor or seek advice from a career counselor during their job search. This advice is crucial for your success because you’ll be able to better match your skills and experience with the qualifications for jobs you’re interested in.
2. You rely solely on your experience and skills.
Many job seekers depend on their prior experience and technical skills when filling out job applications. While your experience and skills serve as a good starting point, there are some other factors you need to consider.
Hiring managers are not only looking for experienced candidates, but also those who’d be the best person for the position. Hiring managers want to hire candidates who have the best personality, attitude, and soft skills needed to fit their culture. If you overlook these attributes when writing your resume and cover letter, you could be missing out on the key qualifications employers seek.
3. Your attitude is setting you up for failure.
Sometimes, overconfident job seekers can become angry during their job search when they aren’t experiencing the results they anticipated. If you’re landing interviews but not receiving job offers, this could cause you to feel blindsided by your confidence. When this happens, it’s tempting to blame the interviewer for not seeing you as a desirable candidate. Instead of blaming things outside of your control, you need to hold yourself accountable for your attitude and remember there will be more opportunities better suited for your expertise.
4. You aren’t willing to learn or adapt.
One of the biggest hurdles you need to overcome in your search is the ability to expand your knowledge and use it to adapt to new situations. If you’re feeling like you have all the skills you need to be successful, you need to change your mindset now. Throughout your entire career, you’re going to build upon your current skills and experience. This is the only way you’re going to have a competitive advantage during your search and impress hiring managers with your hunger for knowledge.
Need a solution? Check yourself for overconfidence.
The only way you’re going to find out if your ego’s interfering with your search is if you take a step back. Look at your strategy for applying for jobs to find out what’s working and what’s not. Once you figure out what’s holding you back in your search, see if it’s related to your overconfidence. It’s easy to think any employer would be lucky to have us, but you have to be realistic and keep the employer’s needs in mind first.