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But I don’t want to sound desperate…!

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Job seekers in any situation never want to sound desperate. But those who are in a tough financial spot and really just need to get a job, understandably fear this conundrum even more. We never want to come across as desperate for a job but honestly, sometimes we are. We’ll take anything – or almost anything, just to get back on our feet again. Being unemployed is deflating. It hurts our confidence and our checkbook.

So how do we deal with the problem of not wanting to sound desperate during a job interview, or even when we are networking – when all we want to do is get something and say we will take anything they offer? Here are some preliminary steps to take:

1. Regain your confidence: Do whatever it takes to understand your value and worth again in the marketplace and what you have to offer. The more confident you are, the less desperate you will appear. Interview friends and family, former co-workers, anyone you’ve worked with regarding your strengths. It will give you a confidence boost but will also help you become clear about your skill set and strengths.

2. Practice your pitch: Write down, and re-write it until it is perfect, what you want to say during an interview or to a networking connection about your desire to get back into the workforce, without saying “I’ll take anything.” Something like, “I am eager to get back into the workforce. I’m looking for X types of positions but am open to other roles similar to this in different industries.” Letting them know you are open to other ideas or opportunities is fine, saying you will take anything is not.

3. Remain positive: When you present your case during an interview, stay positive and upbeat. There is a big difference in saying, “I will do what it takes to succeed in this role and am confident that I can” versus, “I really need this job” or “I will take whatever you offer.” The first shows commitment and a positive, confident attitude.

Watch this video for additional advice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpdaAbroglI. At a recent presentation at Agnes Scott College, a participant explained how she landed a job by being positive and upbeat. She was not completely qualified for the position she was applying for. And had never worked in the tech industry before (where she was interviewing) but her attitude and confidence were infectious. She said something like, I know I don’t have the exact background you are looking for, and here is why I am confident I can succeed in this role and provide value. Then she rattled off the reasons she was hire-able including a can do attitude, strong work ethic, and the transferable skills she brought to the table. During her explanation of why she felt she could provide value to their organization, despite not having the qualifications, everyone there wanted to hire her! It was compelling. So take a moment to prepare what you want to say, even though you may feel desperate deep down inside, it does not have to show. Turn that fear into positive energy towards your search.

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