Imposter syndrome is a common feeling experienced by many job candidates, especially in the competitive UK job market. It’s a feeling of inadequacy, a sense that you don’t belong, or that you’re not as good as other candidates. It’s a common state of play, with nearly 40% of UK workers experiencing some level of imposter syndrome every week in their jobs.

Imposter syndrome can be a real barrier to job hunting, and it can stop you from achieving your full potential. Time and again as a recruitment agency, we see evidence of imposter syndrome in candidates, particularly women. It can hold you back in your career.

But, there are ways to identify and overcome it. In this article, we’ll take a look at imposter syndrome and provide some tips to help you ensure it doesn’t hinder your job hunt.

What is Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon where individuals doubt their abilities and can feel like a fraud despite their achievements. It’s a common feeling among high achievers, such as job candidates who are striving to reach their career goals. It’s also a discriminatory phenomenon, with more women than men affected. People who suffer from imposter syndrome often have a hard time accepting praise and recognition for their accomplishments, and they may feel like they don’t deserve the success they’ve achieved.

Symptoms of Imposter Syndrome

There are several symptoms of imposter syndrome that you can look out for, including:

  • Feeling like a fraud
  • Believing that you’re not as good as others
  • Downplaying your achievements
  • Struggling to accept praise or recognition
  • Overcompensating by working harder or taking on more responsibilities
  • Feeling anxious or stressed about your abilities
  • Fear of being exposed as not good at your job

Despite predominantly positive feedback from managers and colleagues, these symptoms can persist.

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

If you’re experiencing imposter syndrome, there are several things you can do to overcome it and ensure that it doesn’t hinder your job hunt. Here are some tips to help you:

Recognise Your Achievements

The first step in overcoming imposter syndrome is to recognise your achievements. Take the time to reflect on your successes and acknowledge your hard work. Keep a record of your accomplishments, and celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Then move these into your CV as evidence of your capabilities.

Talk to Someone

Talking to someone you trust can help you gain perspective and provide you with the support you need to overcome imposter syndrome. Share your feelings with a friend, mentor, or a professional coach who can help you work through your feelings of self-doubt.

Importantly, share with your recruitment consultant how you feel. They can help you take a more realistic view of your strengths and career aspirations.

Reframe Your Thoughts

Challenge your negative thoughts by reframing them into positive ones. For example, instead of thinking “I’m not good enough for this job,” try reframing it into “I have the skills and experience to excel in this role.” Practice these positive affirmations before interviews.

Embrace Failure

Failure is a part of the learning process, and it’s essential to embrace it. Accept that mistakes will happen, and use them as an opportunity to learn and grow. You are not unique in failing – everyone does – what matters is how you respond to the failure going forwards.

Overcome imposter syndrome in your job hunt

At F1rst Commercial Recruitment, we understand the importance of finding the right job that matches your skills and personality. We can help you overcome imposter syndrome and be confident in seeking new and ambitious roles. Get in touch on 0161 359 3111.


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