Growing up, most of us had many different types of friends. Remember the obnoxious one who thought they were the best at everything? How about the milquetoast who was so quiet and humble that you never got a good idea about who he was? When it comes to your job search, you don’t want to be either of them!

Today’s job market is extremely competitive. When you get an opportunity to interview, or even when writing your résumé or cover letter, you want to strike a healthy balance between arrogance and humility – aim for confidence.

When faced with a serious job prospect, make sure that you don’t fall into these traps:

  1. Arrogance. You are the best at your job. In fact, you’re so good that no one can tell you a thing about how to improve. Anyone who hires you will get the total package, and you’ll be sure to let them know that. This level of arrogance can be conveyed through an overuse or inappropriate use of superlatives in résumés or cover letters, or through your tone of voice during an interview. Don’t be cocky. Remember that everyone, even the most successful professionals, always has something to learn.
  2. Overdoing Humility. While employers reject shameless self-promoters, especially those who can’t back up their words, individuals who are not confident in their accomplishments are doing severe damage to their career prospects as well. Many job candidates, in an effort to avoid being perceived as cocky or eager to rock the boat, underplay their accomplishments. They act overly modest and are dismissive of their own abilities. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, neither will an employer.

So, how should your job application materials and your overall mien be during an interview? Confident. Make employers take note of your achievements and your potential, but don’t overdo it. Striking that perfect balance will make employers view you as a winner, and set you on your way to a successful career.

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