By Maura Gergerich, Toppel Peer Advisor

At some point nearly everybody has had an experience where they watch someone who seems less qualified than themselves get praised or promoted while you sit bitterly wishing you could have been in their place. It’s a thing that happens in school work or any other organization that you are a part of in your lifetime. What’s the most common reason for this? You may be inclined to jump to conclusions of shady deals and elbow rubbing but the truth is that it comes down to competence vs. confidence. In this battle, confidence generally ends up the successful one.
Obviously to get a job or internship you must be competent. I’m not saying that you can ignore this altogether and still hope to get by. But there is always a chance for learning in this area. Confidence is harder to improve upon if it’s not there. Companies want individuals who can be confident in their decisions to represent them. You wouldn’t want to be taken care of by a doctor who was unsure of their diagnosis even if they were considered one of the best in the field or represented by a lawyer who wavered back and forth on their next course of action in court. Of course not! No matter how qualified you may be, if you don’t have confidence in yourself how can you expect someone else to have confidence in you?
Now, that being said, DON’T exaggerate your abilities. Try to examine your skills realistically. If you state on your resume that you are proficient in a program that you maybe only worked with a few times, you could end up in a sticky situation if you have a job where you are expected to use it regularly and don’t know how. That’s not what confidence is about and it’s not the truth either. But it is ok to be proud of your skills and accomplishments. Take pride in your work and yourself and it will show to everyone you interact with. If you show that you like who you are and what you do other people will too.