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5 Ways to Improve Self-Esteem & Accelerate Your Job Search

Inside: 5 ways to improve self-esteem to propel your job search forward. Let’s help you feel great about yourself so you can convince others of your awesome!

If you want to make a career change, you’re going to need something pretty important. Super important. Mega colossal important! And I’m not going to bury the lead on this any further.

You need self-esteem.

For others to feel good about hiring you, you need to feel good about yourself and what you have to offer the world.

To make your case about why you’re a great fit for this new exciting job, you need to believe your case.

So let’s talk about 5 ways to improve self-esteem in the year ahead so that you can propel your job search forward.

Read More: 40 Self-Confidence Quotes for Women

5 Ways to Improve Self-Esteem for a Successful Job Search

How to build self-confidence and propel your job search forward

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Self-Esteem Strategy 1: Phone a Friend

If your lack of self-esteem is dragging you down, a little external boost could help get you on track.

In The Miracle Morning, author Hal Elrod set about to make some big changes in his life and sought feedback from his family, friends, and coworkers about how he could improve. In a big group email, he outlined his goals for self-improvement and asked everyone to give him 3 things he could work on in his life. Most everyone responded with helpful advice but also included 3 things they thought he was already great at.

That’s the part I want you to focus on, the stuff you’re already awesome at.

Constructive feedback is helpful, but building your self-confidence from a strengths-based perspective can help you build momentum and feel good about engaging with new people through your job search.

So pick up the phone, send a text, or write an email and ask some of your family members or friends what they think you are good at.

I bet you’ll get a lot of warm fuzzies that will help you see from an outsider’s perspective how awesome you are!

You can even ask your kids. I just asked my daughter what Mommy was great at and she said “Being my Mommy.” In fact, I’m her “best Mommy in her whole life.”

Self-Esteem Strategy 2: Self-Esteem Books

As a 90s kid, I’m always going to believe that Reading Rainbow was right. Take a look, it’s in a book! That’s why reading is 1 of my 5 ways to improve self-esteem. Here are some of my favorites to add to your self-esteem-boosting list.

You Are a Badass

I’ve written about Jen Sinceros’s book, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, on a couple of occasions regarding career development and personal development. And you bet your bottom dollar she’s making an appearance here!

Read You Are a Badass and you are going leave the pages feeling pumped up on how much you have to offer the world.

You are a badass

Read more personal development book reviews.

StrengthsFinder 2.0

Another book to add to your bookshelf is StrengthsFinder 2.0.

Using the Gallup StrengthsFinder Assessment you can identify your top strengths and use the book as a guide to help you understand how to utilize your strengths. It’s important to work on your weaknesses, but you’re going to get a lot of bang for your buck and build your self-confidence by focusing on what you already do super well.

Knowing your strengths by using StrengthsFinder will also help you craft your interview answers in a way that feels genuine and super relevant to the person on the other side of the table.


Read a full review of StrengthsFinder and my experience with the assessment.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

Self-esteem books written for adults are great, but you can also pull out some of your favorite children’s books that tell your kids how great they are. Building self-confidence isn’t just child’s play, my friend.

Grab Oh, the Places You’ll Go and let Dr. Seuss tell you that you can move mountains and feel that one deep down in your soul because he was totally right.

Oh the Places You'll Go

See more inspiring children’s book recommendations.

Self-Esteem Strategy 3: Feel Good in Your Skin

Not feeling great in your own skin? You aren’t alone! Maybe your body has changed since having babies, or it’s been difficult to fit in exercise with your work schedule, commute, and kids’ activities, or your metabolism has slowed as you age. (Raises my hand in solidarity!)

To change how you’re feeling about your body, you might be making some fitness and health goals for the new year which is great! But you 110% DO NOT need to lose weight or have Michelle Obama arms to make a career change or feel good about yourself.

One simple change you can make right now is to find a powerful suit of armor (clothes that fit well!) that help you feel amazing walking into a room.

Yup, shopping makes the list as one of my favorite of the 5 ways to improve self-esteem! That’s because when you feel good in your right now body you’ll be less inclined to hide away from networking events or interviews until your body looks like the version of you from 10 years ago.

(And by the way, you from 10 years ago may have looked different, but she certainly didn’t have as much wisdom, knowledge, or valuable life experience as you do now!)

Self-Esteem Strategy 4: Make Your Resume Reflect Your Awesome

I promised we would talk about resumes and here we are! A great resume that tells your story is one of my 5 ways to improve self-esteem because it feels AMAZING to have a resume you’re proud to share.

Resume Tip 1: Give Your Resume a Makeover

A great resume template that is clean and professional can go a long way in helping you feel great hitting submit on your application. Grab a free template here.

Resume Tip 2: Focus on Key Accomplishments and Skills

Your resume is not a list of your past jobs, it is a marketing and personal branding document that explains to potential employers why you’re amazing. But for most people, their resume doesn’t help them shine as brightly as they could. Instead, it’s filled with bullet points that downplay accomplishments and responsibilities. Don’t do that!

Instead, think about your peak experiences at each of your previous roles. What project did you really love? How did you add value to your team? What would your teammates say about your work? Now look at your resume and see if that is jumping off the page.

Check out this list of transferable skills.

Resume Tip 3: Use Resume Action Verbs

For most people, the great stuff they have done isn’t jumping off the page. But one simple fix is to think about your Action Verbs. How you talk about your work matters and can help you build self-confidence in your job search.

For example, a bullet under your tech company customer service role might currently read:

Answered phone calls and emails from potential customers.

But we can boost your self-confidence when that bullet point highlights some of the key skills you utilized while on the job. Like this:

Fueled growth for small business owners by advising potential clients over the phone and via email (~300 potential customers weekly) as they sought efficient project management solutions. Determined business needs and directed customers to the appropriate technology solutions.

See the difference between “Answered” versus “Fueled” and “Advising”? Adding the scope of the work and the context helps too!

Keep in mind that we aren’t making stuff up here! We are simply showcasing your key skills in a way that shows an employer that you’re confident in what you have to offer, while also giving yourself a self-confidence boost. It feels good to look back on what you’ve done with pride!

Find a great list of resume action verbs here.

5 Ways to Improve Self-Esteem

Self-Esteem Strategy 5: Practice Makes Better

If you are planning on interviewing in the new year, remember that practice makes better. We’re not shooting for perfect here. Perfect, smerfect remember! But we do want you to feel good about yourself before an interview so that you can wow them!

5 ways to improve self-esteem to rock the interview

1. Think about how you are going to nail that very important first question. “Tell me about yourself.” Practice your answer while out for a walk, in the shower, or with a friend to get more comfortable and confident.

2. Remember the SOAR method for answering interview questions and plan out your behavioral interview question answers with effective stories. Knowing you have a solid plan can help boost your confidence.

3. Find your Power Pose that makes you feel super strong and confident before you walk in the door. Body language matters!

4. Use ChatGPT to get a list of potential interview questions so you know what to prepare for.

5. Ask for help! Working with a career coach to practice for interviews can help build your confidence in a safe space.

Let’s kick some doors open this year!

So, how are you feeling? On your way to feeling great in your mind, your skin, and on paper? Empowered with 5 ways to improve self-esteem and ready to roll? Fabulous!

All that fierceness, it’s going to be kicking doors WIDE open! Go get ’em, rockstar!

Read More on Ways to Improve Self-Esteem:

Mom Skills That Make You Indispensable at Work: Your Transferable Skills Checklist

Inspiring Personal Development Books for the Dreamers

1 Simple Way to Overcome Impostor Syndrome

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