As children we are praised for the smallest achievement. Every new sound, movement, or trip to the potty, we are met with a round of applause and affection. We are taught that it is important to achieve our goals, to succeed, and progress. Yet as we grow into a young adult, there is a huge shift in attitudes. As teenagers we fight to do what we want, disregarding our parents and their praise, having this encouraged confidence to believe that we know what is right. As we grow into young adults this confidence decays as we make mistakes, take a tumble and realize that maybe we don’t have all the right answers. Then as we try to become responsible adults, progressing into the world of employment, the concept of confidence and over achieving becomes daunting.
We live in a culture where we are taught not to brag, where having a big ego is just flat out un-attractive. But what most people forget is that when it comes to applying for jobs — confidence is key. Selling yourself to an employer is a vital part of securing a job. Salesmen are usually met with disdained attitudes, as they try to sell us something we don’t want or need. Yet, their tactics and confidence should be admired and utilized. For an employer to believe that you are capable of doing the job, you have to show them that you have what it takes. You have to believe in yourself and your ability to sell yourself to the employer.
Most of us are aware that before we even get to the interview stage where we meet an employer, first we have to go through several filters. The predominant amount of job applications go through the internet. Finding the position and applying using your resume and cover letter. Never under any circumstances, under estimate the power of a cover letter. Your resume lists your skills, experience and what you can do, but your cover letter should be used as a device to sell yourself. Enhance the experience listed on your resume whilst incorporating the key phrases used on the job description. It’s important to use emotive language like “extensive” and “excellent” to embellish your qualifications. Don’t be scared to put yourself out there and remember that honesty is the best policy. If you confidently present your strengths it can put you apart from the competition. And even if you aren’t successful in securing the job, at least you know that you have given it your all. It’s important to remember that the employer needs you, and use that knowledge to boost your esteem. Go back to the early days of your childhood, grasp at that feeling of confidence in achievement and you will reach your employment goal. As Christopher Columbus once said “You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to loose sight of the shore”. So grab that boat of confidence and sail.
Ashley Bentley is an employment advisor for Open Door group in Vancouver, British Columbia. Whilst supporting clients reach their employment goals, Ashley is also an active part of the community. She has volunteered for several women’s organization and taken part in fundraising activities for the Scotia Bank Aids walk. Ashley enjoys swimming, attending theatre and music performances and has an avid love for cheese.