If you are job hunting you know that it can be a difficult task and can affect your self-esteem. You will need a killer CV and cover letter to make your application stand out. See our guide to writing a cover letter.
So your application was successful and you are now faced with an interview!
Ever heard the phrase “Fake it till you make it.”? Using confident body language to boost your self-confidence is a great example of this.
10 Ways in which you can use body language to pave your way to better self-esteem include:
1. Eye Contact
Looking down or away when talking with someone is a sure sign of low self-esteem. Looking someone in the eye when they are talking to you or when you are speaking to them shows interest and confidence. It is recommended to maintain good eye contact about 60% of the time. However, if this is too intimidating, find a spot near the eyes to focus on and as your confidence grows, move to direct eye contact.
2. Lean In
Lean slightly forward towards the person with whom you are in conversation with. This shows that you are interested and that you are paying attention. Social anxiety often results in maintaining a distance which relates disinterest or that you are aloof.
Keep your back straight, shoulders back and don’t slouch. Slouching occurs when you try to take up as little room as possible or are trying to hide or protect yourself and is common in socially anxious people. However, it may give the impression that you are lazy or don’t care. Keep your arms and legs unfolded to prevent sending signals that you are in a defensive or protective position.
4. Chin Up
Looking down at the ground constantly can send the wrong message. Keep your chin up and your eyes looking straight ahead for a more confident appearance. This may feel unnatural at first and you will need to constantly remind yourself to look up. The position will, however, become more natural. Remember that it is difficult to maintain good eye contact if you are always looking down.
5. No Fidgeting
Fidgeting is a sure sign of nervousness and discomfort. Concentrate on keeping your hands, feet and body still. Constant fidgeting distracts people from listening to what you have to say making it harder to keep their focus and attention.
6. Pocket Hands
Avoid putting your hands in your pockets as much as possible – even if your hands are shaking or you are attempting to stop fidgeting. Relaxed hands by your side will make you appear far more confident and self-assured.
7. Slow Down
Talking and moving in a fast or erratic manner will make you seem more nervous and anxious. Take a deep breath and slow down your speech as well as gestures and other movements. This will provide you with a greater sense of confidence.
8. Big Strides
Take bigger steps when you walk. People who take larger steps appear as if they are in command and exude a sense of confidence. Start with small increases and don’t take strides that are way too long.
9. Hand Movements
Avoid touching your face, neck or body constantly. These are clear signs of anxiety and can be very distracting. Remember that your hands are communicating messages even when you aren’t talking.
10. The Shake
Work on your handshake. You want a strong, confident handshake that applies just the right amount of pressure. A slack hand shows weakness, fear or anxiousness whereas applying too much pressure may make it seem as if you are trying too hard. Practice makes perfect when it comes to mastering a confident handshake.