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Confidence vs. Bragging in Your Job Search

Confidence vs. Bragging in Your Job Search July 20, 2020Leave a comment

As candidates during the job search process, we want to present our confidence, value proposition and as the best choice for the role. To do this, we usually tell stories about our top accomplishments. But at what point does confidence sound like bragging? There can be a fine line between the two both in the mind of the candidate and other conversation participants. In this article, we discuss how to show confidence without bragging as part of your career strategy.

Penny genuinely cares about her clients. Even after our contract was up, she still regularly asked me if I had any questions or needed advice. That is a true display of integrity!

Tell Stories Genuinely

When you’re implementing an effective career search, you  have to “market” your product—“you”.  Showing confidence and presenting your value proposition are essential during the interview process to build certainty in the mind of the hiring manager that you are the ideal person for the job. Telling memorable stories about your accomplishments helps you stand out from the other candidates.

But to come across as genuine, and not overly confident, it’s important to tell these stories in a thoughtful way that also highlights the contributions of others and other factors that may have led to your success. This shows that you are also mindful of what others bring to the table, which can make you more likely to work well within a team or to lead a team.

Consider How You Use Language

Using language effectively in your resume, career conversations and during your job interviews can help you demonstrate confidence without bragging. Avoid using absolute statements such as “I was the best salesperson at XYZ company”, which can sound like bragging. Also, it is a subjective statement that not everyone at the company might agree with. Instead, you might say that you were recognized for exceeding your sales objective and produced 20% over the team’s average.  Therefore, you added value to the company’s growth objectives.

Confidently Presenting Your Value Proposition

Sometimes, candidates have the mindset that if they discuss their value, they are bragging.  Not so, and if they leave out their value because of their own limiting belief, it will cost them.

In order to show confidence without bragging,  focus on the employer and what is in it for them if they hire you. This means effectively presenting your value proposition and communicating how you can contribute to the company that is currently hiring.

Answer Questions Authentically

Being well-prepared to answer questions during the interview process will help you show confidence without bragging. For instance, one of the most common questions during an interview is “What is your greatest weakness?” If you answer this by saying that you work too hard or that you are a perfectionist, it can make you sound like you are bragging, even if what you are saying is true.

So it is better to talk about an area of your skills that you are working on, what you are doing to build that skill, and the benefits that it will have. For example, you may want to become a professional public speaker and can talk about how you are taking classes to achieve this while improving your skills.

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