Searching for a job can be difficult, frustrating, and even depressing.
And it just gets worse the longer the search goes on.
The longer you look, the more frustrated you get, and the less confident you look and sound.
Which just makes the job search that much harder because ...
Confidence is the Key to Standing Out
A confident person smiles, engages others, tries new things, and gets noticed in a positive and approving way.
Confidence is different from arrogance. It embraces strengths, but acknowledges and addresses weaknesses. It is excited, not threatened, by the skills of others. It is comfortable in its own skin and seeks to put others at ease as well. It is well-rounded. It is friendly. It is kind.
A confident person stands out from the crowd because of an uncommon interest in others and an ability to effectively communicate with them.
But how do you build confidence when mired in an increasingly depressing, never-ending job search?
Boost Your Confidence by Improving Your Communication Skills
Proving to yourself that you can write a compelling blog post, shine at a networking event, or give a riveting presentation will remind you of your ability to acquire new skills and add value in the workplace.
People are hired largely because of the ways they connect with bosses, HR personnel, whoever is in charge of reviewing resumes and conducting interviews, and anyone else involved in making a hiring decision. Improving your communication skills will re-energize your job search and give you new ways of connecting with and impressing potential employers and decision-makers.
Developing your writing skills will help you craft business documents that meet employer expectations while showcasing your unique attributes.
One of the most common ways people first connect with a potential employer is through a written response to a job posting. Companies are inundated with responses, so it's worth taking the time to find out what they are looking for, understand the process, and learn how to create an attention-getting resume and cover letter. It's amazing how little attention most job-seekers pay to written interactions with prospective employers. Doing your homework, writing well, and conducting yourself professionally go a long way toward helping you stand out from the crowd.
You can also impress and connect with employers through blog posts or intelligent, well-written comments to articles and digital discussions. These forums provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your subject matter expertise, professionalism, and writing abilities ... things many employers look for when recruiting and hiring.
An even better way to connect with potential employers is to interact with them. Once upon a time it was necessary to meet a decision-maker in person to make a solid impression, but social networking platforms now let you "meet" thought-leaders, HR directors, and even CEOs in the digital space.
Successful networking, whether in person or in the digital space, requires interpersonal communication skills. To connect with people, you can't be focused solely on yourself and your goals. You have to show genuine interest in them, beyond whatever you can gain from the interaction. You have to engage them in conversation and actually listen to what they have to say. Building connections this way is slow, but also more likely to be fruitful and rewarding. Folks will strongly advocate for the hiring of someone they know or someone that has been recommended by person they trust.
Digital networking, however, requires an additional set of skills: the technical ability to use various platforms and the strategic ability to use them effectively. Investing in social media training will not only help you amplify your job search, it will provide you with an additional skill sought by many employers these days.
Public speaking and presentation skills are crucial to all kinds of jobs ... and these skills are rare. Because so many people dread the experience, employers are impressed when anyone gives an effective presentation with ease.
Developing presentation skills enables you to seek out and jump at every public speaking invitation that comes your way. Each speech or presentation allows you to connect with potential employers or current bosses in an uncommon and impressive way.
So don't get down about your job search. Get busy! Develop and demonstrate the communication skills you need to successfully land the job you want. Connect with employers by building your network and impress them by showcasing your abilities in a wide variety of venues.
Lauren Hug is a social media strategist, market researcher, and presentation consultant. She is the founder of HugSpeak, a strategic marketing firm, and author of The Manager's Guide to Presentations. She is currently working on a second book, The Professional Woman's Guide to Getting Promoted. Connect with her on Linked In, Twitter, or Facebook.