By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS


If you are at the start of your career search or you are struggling and feel like you want a “do over,” this post is dedicated to helping you get on track.

When I speak with HR people from varying companies, they all tell me that the person who is articulate and confident is the person that impresses them the most. So how can you come across as this articulate, confident person when you are nervous about the interview?

It all starts with knowing yourself and your work life cold. In an interview, the interviewer is going to tell you about the position and you are going to show them how the successes you have had over the course of your career make you uniquely positioned to be the right person for the job.  By knowing the stories of your work life, which highlight your strengths and skills, you can present a clear picture to the hiring manager or HR person of how you can solve the needs of the company and, as a result, are the perfect fit for the job. It does not matter if you are looking to continue on in the same work or are looking to change your career or industry.

So, take some time for self –reflection and think about the successes you have had over the course of time. Do you notice any patterns? What are the skills that keep coming up? What are your strengths?  Make yourself a journal so that you can refer back to it and add to it during your search. Once you have a handle on the many facets of you in your work life, you can start to create your Value Proposition, which is the backbone of your career campaign. Take this information that you have gleaned through your introspection and turn it into a clear, concise statement of who you are and what you bring to the table when you go to work.

In today’s world of job search, you need to be able to spit out your Value Proposition in 30 seconds or less. It has to roll off your tongue in an effortless manner with an air of confidence. And, your ability to do this in such an assured manner sets the stage for the questioning that comes next.  The nervousness can drop away because you are fully familiar with what happened in your work life and can pull examples that match up with or complement the issues that the interviewer is concentrating on.  Most interviewers know that you are not going to have an answer for everything; however, it is how you carry yourself through the process that counts. By being as well-versed in “you” as you are in your research of the company, you will be able to handle whatever comes your way, including responses that reflect that you do not know everything.  This is because this shows your honesty and honesty is a core value that is prized by most companies.

So there you have it. The key to being articulate and confident is knowledge about yourself.  So when Francis Bacon said, “Knowledge is power,” he was correct right down to a 21st Century job search!

As always, please leave me a comment and let me know if this post helped you. And, if you are struggling in search, please contact me at 203-323-9977 or [email protected].

Every Success-