Career Advice





5 Ways to Combat Imposter Syndrome

It’s important to be confident when you’re trying to land a new job. To have any chance at all, you must be able to sell yourself to prospective employers. If you suffer from imposter syndrome and are filled with self-doubt, however, you’re not going to get very far.

Imposter syndrome, which occurs when someone feels like a fraud who is undeserving of their achievements, will hinder your job search. It might even keep you from getting the job of your dreams.

So what can you do if you struggle with imposter syndrome? Keep reading to find out.


Why Should You Fight Imposter Syndrome?

You might be wondering why you should try to overcome imposter syndrome in the first place. How might it affect your job search anyway?

Right off the bat, imposter syndrome might prevent you from even applying for your dream job. Folks who struggle with this form of extreme self-doubt are usually too afraid to apply for a job unless they meet absolutely every requirement on the job ad (which is rare!)

If you do decide to apply, you might downplay your accomplishments on your resume and during the interview because inside you think you’re a fraud. While it’s great to be humble in most instances, when it comes to impressing potential employers, it’s crucial that you exude confidence. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, why should they?


5 Tips to Combat Imposter Syndrome

Clearly, it’s a good idea to take steps before you start your job hunt to overcome the feelings created by imposter syndrome. Outlined below are some ways you can achieve this:


  1. Spend Time Thinking About Your Concrete Achievements:

    Consider making a written list of your accomplishments. Include items like “Graduated from college with a 3.8 GPA” and “Got promoted to manager within a year.” Focus on objective achievements that can’t be disputed and then read over them multiple times, reminding yourself that you earned them, fair and square.

  2. Expect to Make Mistakes When You Try Something New:

    Reframe the way you view mistakes. They’re not bad – they are a learning opportunity. And everyone makes them, especially when they’re starting a new job or doing something they’ve never done before. If you rarely make any mistakes, it means that you aren’t pushing yourself and growing.

  3. Share How You’re Feeling with Someone You Trust:

    There are lots of people out there (like 70% of the population, according to research) who also feel like imposters sometimes. Hence the saying, “fake it ‘til you make it,” right? Seek out someone you trust and talk to them about how you feel. If nothing else, you won’t feel so alone in your experience.

  4. Find a Mentor Who Can Provide Guidance and Support:

    Even better, if you can find someone more experienced than you who can fill a mentorship role, they may be able to help you stifle your feelings of inadequacy. It’s likely they too have been in situations when they felt unsure, and they can likely provide valuable advice and support.

  5. Practice Saying Thank You When You Get a Compliment:

    You deserve the compliment! So instead of verbally brushing it off or nodding your head in disagreement, practice saying thank you instead. Getting better at accepting compliments will gradually improve your self-esteem and help eliminate imposter syndrome.


While overcoming imposter syndrome can be a challenge, particularly if it’s deep-rooted because of childhood experiences and certain personality traits, it is doable. Following the five tips above, you can begin to banish some of these negative feelings. Ultimately, you’ll want to tackle imposter syndrome so you can grow and thrive – and secure a job that is worthy of you!