More Advice for the Job Search

by Kelle on November 3, 2010

If I Could Do It Over… | Career Advice – Inside Higher Ed

‘Tis the season for job hunting and therefore also for job hunting advice. This article has lots of good advice but this is my favorite:

Humility has no place in a job search. There’s no reason that you should be anything but flatteringly complimentary to yourself, because if you don’t sell yourself, no one will do it for you.

If you missed them, check out our other job search posts.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mihos November 3, 2010 at 9:57 am

Believe me, that can backfire. I’ve seen several job applications that say “I am the leader in the field of (whatever)” from people who clearly are not. Saying that not only shows me you have an overinflated ego, it also tells me you really *don’t* know what’s going on in your field. Not a good message to send.

So, be positive about your skills and work, but don’t go overboard.


2 Anna Marie Loopbaanadvies November 4, 2010 at 8:43 am

In seeking for job, let’s always present ourselves in all honesty. Do not pretend something or someone that we are not. It’s but normal to sell ourselves during application, but i totally agree in the context “let’s not go overboard’

Anna Marie Loopbaanadvies


3 Kelle November 4, 2010 at 10:48 am

I’m not really sure what’s going on here, but I suspect that it might be that people tend to be at one extreme or the other: either too modest or too cocky. I always find that when I informally mentor/co-mentor peers about a job app or a job talk, they need to be “pumped up” and reassured and they have a deathly fear of being perceived as overreaching. While honesty is clearly required, so is confidence in describing your accomplishments and abilities with a straight face. In my experience, this is something that takes oodles of practice to get just right and can be *especially* difficult for women.


4 Lisa November 4, 2010 at 1:07 pm

That is very true, Kelle. I was talking to a professor at my school about applying for jobs. I tend towards the side of modesty and he pointed out ‘Have you ever seen a modest professor?’ I don’t think that I can really think of one. Not that all of the professors I know are egotistical (though I have met more than a few of these), but many of them can project the confidence they have in their abilities. I don’t know why men seem to have an easier time with this.


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