5 years and $50,000 in debt later, I entered 2020 with high hopes of using my Master’s degree to its greatest potential and landing the career I’ve been working so hard towards. Now, it is 2021, and I still have not found my dream job. Like many young professionals switching from full-time education to job searching, it is easy to feel like you have made the wrong choice. You may start to doubt your skillset the longer you wait to enter the workforce, known as imposter syndrome. During the pandemic specifically, it has been harder than ever for people to find employment, which can discourage many young professionals leaving school. Without experience or a portfolio, it can be difficult to showcase one’s assets and skills.
This article will offer tips and tricks on how to beat imposter syndrome while job hunting during the pandemic.
Step One: Facing Imposter Syndrome
As your loan payments begin to creep up around the corner, you may start to deny your reasoning behind even having gone to school. It is easy to feel like entering the workforce after high school may have been a better option as it probably has worked in favour of many of your peers. It may feel like you are losing the skills you worked so hard to gain the longer you wait to exercise them in the workforce. However, the reality of the matter is that it is a global pandemic, and people may not be hiring for the role you are looking for. This does not mean you are not good enough for your practice or do not deserve to keep pushing towards your dream goal. My best word of advice is to not settle for an opportunity but to continue self-evaluating and applying for places you truly have interest in until a hiring manager sees your potential.
Step Two: Showcasing Your Potential
Be sure to have a friend or family member look over your resume for any spelling or grammar errors, as well as design flaws. It is easy to get comfortable with what you already have, but it will only benefit you in the long run if you challenge yourself to do better. Second, make sure, depending on the type of job you want, that you are saving projects you have done in the past that showcase what you can do. I suggest creating a website that can act as your portfolio where you can host your resume, past works, and current services, as well as contact information. Doing this will help set you apart from other candidates in the application process and offer you experience with web design, another great asset.
Step Three: Know The Position You Are Applying For
The best advice I have ever been given is to do social engineering to discover the hiring manager’s name for the position you are applying for. You have probably applied to tons of jobs by now with the same resume and cover letter addressed to “whom it may concern,” and are wondering why you have not gotten any opportunities yet. The reason may be because it is just not personal enough. This is because some hiring managers may even post their names on the job application itself, and missing that detail could be the make or break of getting that position. Once you know who you are applying to, make sure you really know what you are applying for. Take the time to analyze the roles you will be required to do to emphasize the skills you have for that role.
Step Four: Build Your Skills and Apply Actively
Consider job searching as a full-time or part-time job, and you will see results faster. Actively job searching is crucial to finding full-time work in your field. This is so you do not miss out on any new opportunities, as well as it allows you to put your eggs in more than one basket figuratively speaking. Another helpful tip I have been given is to be open to freelance work. If you cannot find anything but want to build your portfolio, you can always work as an intern or set your own prices for your services and freelance! In the meantime, be sure to continue exercising your skills by taking online courses, completing skill tests, and doing small fun projects that showcase your ability. If you are actively exercising your skills while job hunting, you will have more confidence in your abilities when you get into the field.
The first step to beating imposter syndrome is to prove yourself wrong by building a portfolio and owning up to the skills you have. Lastly, if you actively work on your skills while you apply, you will have a better chance to find your dream job during the pandemic.