November 15, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Appreciating Your Assets

"...true confidence and belief in our self will shine through"

By Patty Armstrong

Where’s My Great Career?

Patty Armstrong is a career counselor and educator on a mission to help people of all ages find careers they enjoy.

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In this season of Thanksgiving, we often reflect on those things for which we are grateful. The unemployed and underemployed might reply, “Well, I’m not living in a tent or cardboard box – at least not yet!” Such cynicism is understandable. But it doesn’t serve you in your job search. A discouraged and pessimistic job candidate is likely to unconsciously broadcast their unhappiness and make themselves less attractive with their negativity. I know this because I’ve done it myself.

While it is important to pump yourself up and put on a happy demeanor in your cover letter and at an interview, a genuine recognition and appreciation of your talents and skills is a far more effective self-marketing tool. It also helps you feel better to you know you’ve got a lot to offer and that you know how to sell employers on what you can do for them.

The process of creating or updating your resume and putting together a professional portfolio are great opportunities to examine your work and personal history and think about what abilities are most likely to be desired and considered unique by a prospective employer. Many career books and websites offer exercises to help you dig out this information. A brainstorming session with a teacher, mentor, relative or a career counselor who is a good motivator and cheerleader can also help you recognize what you might not realize is important.

I tell my clients they need to improve their resume presentations if they are not getting calls for interviews and work on their interviewing skills, if they get the interviews but not any job offers. Landing a job, especially in the competitive job market of today, relies heavily on our personal ability to convince employers that we are the best candidate for the position, who will fit in well and bring new energy and resources to the company. That’s a tall order to fill when very few of us have been trained to do this.

Yet, regardless of the sophistication or awkwardness in which we present our case, true confidence and belief in our self will shine through. Employers everywhere say a positive attitude is one of the most important things they are looking for. Add an ability to clearly recite and explain experience that is interesting and relevant to the job you are seeking, and you have a winning strategy.

Know yourself and believe in yourself. Then help others see and value all you have to offer. Eventually, you’ll find that new job or prospect, for which you will be truly thankful.

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