The job market can legit seem daunting, and lead you to question yourself and your personal abilities:

How can I stand out? Who do employers want me to be? How do I become the ideal job applicant? Am I good enough for this position?

Well, gosh, of course you’re good enough for a great post-college job. And, the truth is that there is no “perfect” applicant or person that you should become before you first embark on your career journey.

There are, however, some tactics (including a couple that your competition may not know about) that you can use to appear more confident, ambitious, and reliable when going into a job interview.

Here are a few:

So, Tell Me About Yourself?

No, this isn’t a tricky interview question; it’s something you should consider.

When entering the job market, it’s important to understand who you are and how you can contribute to a company’s success. Employers want to know (quickly) how you can bring something unique and noteworthy to the table. However, it’s important to make sure that you’re not just trying to morph yourself into the ideal candidate. Instead, you’ll want to make it clear who you are and why you’d be a valuable addition to a work environment. It’s important that you understand this about yourself, so that you are able to showcase your best qualities to your future boss.

How do you pull this off?

Sit down and brainstorm what makes you valuable and unique in terms of your attributes and experiences. Think about why these attributes are so valuable and how you can channel them into your future career endeavors.

You may also practice how you plan on articulating your best characteristics and defining qualities, to allow you to feel more confident when speaking about yourself.

Limit Comparison

We’re deep into the age of social media. Comparison is at an all-time high and it can be easy to scroll through your Instagram feed and think, “why can’t that be me?”

It can feel as though every single friend, acquaintance, or follower of yours is landing their dream jobs, and with ease.

Here’s an important newsflash: not everything on social media is as it appears. It’s unlikely that the dude you randomly followed three years ago landed his dream on his first interview. Or, maybe he did. Either way, his successes have nothing to do with you or your promise for the future.

It is important to enter the job market with an optimistic mindset and to understand that your job search may not look exactly like someone else’s, and that’s okay!

When seeking employment remember to focus on your personal abilities, hopes for the future, and ways you can continuously improve upon yourself!

Combat Imposter Syndrome

When you enter your first job interview or submit your first resume you may feel out of place and find yourself muttering, “I’m not supposed to be here.” Hogwash! We all have some level of imposter syndrome. And, by “we all,” I mean first-time job seekers as well as those who have been in the workforce for years, or decades. It is normal. Try to just acknowledge your feelings of uncertainty and continue to move forward with your head high.

Instead of focusing on why you aren’t good enough for a job, lean into how your fresh perspective can help grow a company. Understand that each interview not only presents you with a possible job opportunity, but also provides you with a chance to grow and learn more about the interviewing process.

Take Initiative

You may be entering your first job search without a clear understanding of how you want your career to unfold. Not to worry. You have so much time in front of you.

In fact, sometimes, if you’re too narrow on how you future career will pan out, it can make you miss out on something great. Your uncertainty can lead you to more opportunities to learn, grow and figure out who you are and what job would be the most fulfilling to you.

You can start by volunteering at various organizations or companies. This can help you get a feeling as to which types of work environment would best suit you and where you would be able to most succeed. You may also want to try reaching out to your peers who are involved in various careers that you are interested in.

Messaging your peers on Linkedin or other social media sites can allow for you to learn more about possible career paths in an informal environment, as well as create connections with those in your future field! Reaching out to those around you shows initiative and dedication to your desire to embark on your future career, which can help you stand out among an overflowing crowd of applicants.

Seek Guidance

It’s no secret that entering the job market can be extremely overwhelming and leave you feeling confused as to what is the right next step to take. Luckily, there is an abundance of resources, books, and articles on the topic, giving you no reason to go into the job search blind. Make use of these resources and allow yourself to prepare for your initial job search. Reach out your mentors, prior professors, or to those in your field for guidance.

Understanding what to expect when entering the job market can make the task of starting your career a lot less intimidating and far more exciting.

This content was originally published here.

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