How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem When Job Hunting

All of us have our own fears and insecurities – we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t! If you’re on the hunt for a job, you need to put these insecurities aside, because low self-esteem and self-doubt can stand in your way more than anything else. Let’s explore the reasons behind low self-esteem when it comes to job hunting, and how you can keep it at bay.

Low Self Esteem

Are you suffering from a lack of self-esteem?

If you’re looking for a job for the first time, then you may feel like your CV isn’t strong enough, or that you have no chance of getting the advertised position when thousands of people are applying.

People who are already employed but are considering a job change may experience similar feelings. They may question what they will do if, after they resign from their current position, their job applications get rejected and they are left without work. Or that their new job may be even less enjoyable than the one they are currently feeling dissatisfied with.

Much of this stems from a fear of failure. These feelings are completely natural – no one likes the thought of being rejected or being made to feel like they aren’t good enough. You have to accept, though, that you will always face some setbacks in your career. In a highly competitive job market, you have to be resilient and continue persevering. If you allow self-doubt and a lack of self-esteem to overcome you, then you’re hurting your chances of success.

Why should you work on your self-esteem?

Low self-esteem will stand in the way of doing the things you want (or need) to do to find a job. These are some examples of how this issue can affect you when you’re looking to apply for work:

  • When you view the job requirements, one small requirement that you don’t meet may convince you that it isn’t worth applying, even if all your other skills would make you the perfect candidate for the position.
  • Because you’re critical of yourself, you might not market your skills and capabilities effectively on your CV or in your cover letter.
  • If you do get shortlisted and are invited for an interview, then you’ll struggle to enter the interview room with a positive and confident mindset.
  • When you don’t have confidence in your own abilities, then it is unlikely that a potential employer will have confidence in them either.
  • During an interview, you may come across as negative, which will immediately make a bad impression on the interviewer.

So, how do you ensure that a low self-esteem doesn’t have negative impacts on you?

Boosting your self-esteem

To make yourself feel more confident, you should be as prepared as you possibly can be for every part of the job hunting process. Make sure that you read the job description carefully, that you tailor your CV to the specific job advertised, and that you write a cover letter that promotes your skills in the best way possible. If you’ve been invited for an interview, then prepare a list of questions that may be asked, and write down some possible answers to them.

It is important to build a CV that you feel proud of. There are many ways to do this, over and above your main qualification. You can enrol for relevant short courses, attend workshops, seek out volunteering opportunities, or take on an important role in a community organisation. These types of activities are extremely valuable in that they either gain you some priceless experience, or build up your soft skills (which employers are paying more attention to than ever before).

High Self Esteem

When you have a CV that includes technical skills, relevant experience and soft skills, then there should be no reason to feel like you’re inadequate!

There can also be a great deal of value in the idea of “faking it until you make it”. Even if you’re struggling with your self-esteem, you can force yourself to block out negativity and appear as though you are comfortable with yourself and your abilities. You may ask whether this is slightly dishonest? Well, there’s a good chance that once you’ve successfully managed the stress of the interview and landed a job, you’ll feel far more confident in yourself and you won’t have to fake anything anymore!

Ready to approach your job search with confidence? Click on the link below to discover:

6 Steps for Writing a Cover Letter that Will Get You a Job Interview

How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem When Job Hunting
Article Name
How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem When Job Hunting
All of us have our own fears and insecurities – we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t! Let’s explore the reasons behind low self-esteem when it comes to job hunting, and how you can keep it at bay.
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Job Mail
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4 Responses

  1. Roxanne Munian says:


    I have been job hunting for 4 months straight (5+ applications everyday). I have been to a few interviews but with no luck of getting a job. Please can you give me some advise on what I may be doing wrong.

    Roxanne Munian

  2. Sandile Madlala says:

    I have been job hunting for 2 years now, and nothing. I have a Higher Certificate in both Banking and Information Technology. Every application to the bank I send comes back as declined even though I have experience in the bank.

    How then can I not have low self esteem in a job market such as the one that we have in south Africa, its depressing and the day I make money again, I will move from this Country

    • Jani Grey says:

      Hi Sandile,

      Don’t give up yet, it only takes one yes. Have you registered your CV on Job Mail? If not please do the following:

      If you have not registered your CV on Job Mail, follow this link:

      Once you’ve registered, look for jobs that suit your skill set at and apply for them!

      Alternatively, set up a job alert to receive the latest jobs in your field via email at

      We hope you find employment soon!

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