Project confidence! Show some swag…common interview advice. In the right dosage, great advice. When does too much confidence cross the line to egotistical? With so many skills and experiences, you need to display your kindness, humility, flexibility and unrelenting focus on your customer: the hiring company. To the hiring manager, your resume, cover letter and interview should all display your commitment to the company and not your ego.
Here are a few examples of the egotistical things some executives say or do in their job search from Dana Manciagli:
- During an interview: “…I’ve got a good black book I will open up for you”
- To a network contact: “…I’ve never had to job search…jobs have just come my way.”
- In a cover letter: “Mr./Ms. Hiring Manager, you won’t find anybody more qualified and skilled in this field. I’m your guy.”
- A cover letter with 15 sentences with the word “I.” Out of 16 sentences.
- A 5-page resume in 8 point font, filled with acronyms from their industry.
There are many more examples, but it may be more helpful to share the two main characteristics of egotistical executives in a job search:
Yes, you “deserve” that next career opportunity. And yes, you have a huge base of skills, knowledge, expertise, education, experiences and so much more. But you don’t want to let that show. Your credentials, conversations, networking and social media presence (LinkedIn) will do that for you. Your job is to tell that story in a relevant way, one that is compelling to the hiring manager, to your network base and online. You need to bring all that pride and seniority to your job search in a humble-yet-clear way.
Executives, your hiring manager, HR manager, recruiter and interviewer are most likely going to be younger than you. Do not talk down to them, belittle, correct or interrupt them. They are doing their job. They are doing their best job, just as you have done and will do in your next career move. Try writing down all of your experiences in helping other employees, mentoring, training and making others succeed. Keep those stories for your interviews.
It is a well-known fact that bragging is a sign of insecurity. If you are truly confident, you will be a great listener, unassuming and eager to provide relevant and fact-based insights about your background, when appropriate.
While it is critical to highlight your accomplishments on your cover letter, resume and in an interview, nobody wants to deal with an inflated ego. You must learn and rehearse your success stories – what you achieved and how you achieved it. You must also be able to listen to others and respond accordingly. Talking too much is almost as bad as talking too little.
Have confidence in your skills but don’t be overly confident. Be sure your resume is well done and that your cover letter articulates the 3 main reasons why you have the best set of experiences to be the best candidate for the hiring manager.
The talent acquisition team at Menlo Partners Staffing is happy to answer your questions about recruiting, temporary staffing, and workforce management. Contact our office today, Menlo Partners Staffing, a Redwood City based temp agency at (650)752-6193.