How To Stay Confident When Applying To Jobs & Internships

How To Stay Confident During A Job Search

I know we all have that dream company or dream companies that we can see ourselves commuting to and from every single day for the rest of our lives, so applying to these places is extra nerve wracking since we all want to make sure our applications are perfect. And, it can even be easy to feel like you aren’t good enough for the role, or feel like you’re competing against a lot of other people who are just as qualified as you are, or more.

Those feelings can really get to us and cause nervousness that can really set us back—have you ever been so nervous to do something that you ended up making a mistake because of all the feels? That’s what I’m talking about. I’ve been in the process of looking into positions for both the spring semester and after I graduate for a few months now, and with the amount of time and effort it takes to look for things and apply, you honestly can’t afford the energy to be nervous about getting a response, or stress too much over an interview!

So I decided to share a few things that I do to keep my chin up during the whole process. Whether you’re a senior about to graduate and you’re looking for a position, or a freshman who isn’t looking for anything at the moment, these are some tips you can keep in your back pocket.

1. Research the company thoroughly. 

Knowledge is power, after all. The more you know about the company before your phone interview or in-person interview, the more confident you’ll feel in tackling any company-culture-type questions that come your way. It can even be something you do on the commute over to your interview to keep yourself busy and prepare at the same time. In your research, be sure to look for a recent company project that you can reference in your interview if needed. In my post on How To Have A Successful Phone Interview, I give more tips just like these, so be sure to check it out!

2. Really put effort into every application. 

Don’t b.s. anything, even if you think you’re a shoo-in for the position. Tailor your cover letter (and even your resume when necessary) to each position. I have both editorial and social media marketing experience, but in the past when I’d apply for social media positions, I’d send in a resume that was really mostly about my editorial experience. So it’s a no wonder why I never got any social media positions! If it means you have to create five different versions of your resume, it’s definitely worth doing if you really want the position.

Read also: 6 Terrible Cover Letter Mistakes To Stop Making

3. Practice interviewing. 

If you’ve never interviewed for a position before, it’s worth it to grab a friend and practice, or hit up your school’s career center for a mock interview. Practice makes perfect, and you can receive feedback on what you should emphasize more, and other helpful tips specifically about your performance.

4. Dress to impress (yourself). 

I always feel good when I look good, so I take interviews as an opportunity to dress up all nice and professional, and maybe even pose for a photo or two. If it helps, buy a new outfit just for your interview so you get really excited to wear it. I have a post on How To Dress Professionally On A College Budget in case you’re wondering how you can save on costly clothing.

5. Go in with a positive attitude. 

On the day of your interview, go the extra mile to make sure you don’t lose your temper over anything. It can really sour your mood and affect your confidence if you’re upset. Sometimes it’s the little things that really grind our gears, but it’s also the little things that can make us smile. If things aren’t going right, shrug it off and treat yourself to some coffee, or find a way to improvise instead of wasting energy being upset. Nothing good will come of crying or screaming, and you’ll only feel worse. Make sure you do what it takes to walk into that office feeling good and happy to be there.

Read also: 6 Ways To Maintain A Positive Attitude

6. Get yourself a job search buddy. 

You don’t have to go through the job search alone. Having a buddy (or a group of buddies) can help make the process more fun because you’ll be able to hype each other up and help each other out. Plus, they’ll be a shoulder to lean on when you’re stressed and just need someone to comfort you for a bit.

7. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t work out. 

I firmly believe that things always happen for a reason. Maybe you didn’t get that one internship because there’s a better opportunity waiting for you. Or maybe that rejection will help you realize something game-changing that you didn’t realize before (I don’t know what that could be, but if I ever find out I’ll let you know). The point is, don’t dwell on your losses. Thank the recruiter for their time, ask them to keep you in mind for any future positions, and move on. This coming from the girl who has trouble letting go of movie tickets I bought almost four years ago, so that means this point is pretty important. Learn to let go of a position if you’ve been rejected so you can bounce back more ready than ever for the next one. Think of it this way: at least now you’ve made a new connection in your job hunt.

8. Be kind to those who are in the same position as you.

Help your classmates and friends if they feel like they’re struggling! If someone reaches out to you for advice or pointers, or just to look over their resume, try to welcome the moment and give them a hand. I know they’re technically your competition because you’re both applying for the same jobs, but you’re going to get the position because you’re qualified and present yourself well at an interview, not because you lessened the competition by one freakin’ person. 

I’m extra passionate about this point because I see too many people who are unwilling to lend a helping hand to their colleagues because they want to be the best applicant and they’re afraid that giving a little help will hurt their chances of getting the job. It’s truly upsetting! Help your peers out in any way that you can. If you come across a job that you know your colleague would be interested in, send them the link in case they didn’t see it themselves! If someone asks you to give them feedback on their resume, be as constructive as you can. You’d want someone to do the same for you if the roles were reversed. Kindness goes farther than competition.

How do you remain confident during the job/internship hunt? Do you have a memorable job or internship experience? Share below!