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I am not the right fit for this job!

How often have you looked at a job, felt you have a partial fit, and just given up on applying because you felt you were incompetent and could not beat the other candidates applying for the job?

70% of job seekers and employees may suffer from Imposter Syndrome. Imposter syndrome is the feeling of inadequacy, lack of experience, and being a pretender/fake despite succeeding at work and other areas of your life. If 70% of us feel like this, then perhaps it is normal to feel inadequate, which is why we continue to apply for jobs we are more confident in, seeking to do our best in everything and trying to put our best foot forward. Just like overcoming anxiety and other emotional issues, you can overcome the Imposter Syndrome in applying and interviewing for a job and in your daily work life. Here are a few tips that could help:

  • Read the advertisement and accompanying candidate pack/job description and other related documents thoroughly, and note all the key requirements, particularly looking at the bottom where they normally describe the best-fit requirements such as qualifications and years of experience. If you meet the minimum requirement, you are almost good to go.
  • Write down all your achievements, then relate them to the responsibilities outlined in the advert and accompanying documents.
  • Update your CV/Resume to ensure that it includes these areas of achievement. Do not copy your job description when updating your CV. Describe what your daily job involves/involved. The shorter and more precise, the better; when you have more than ten bullets per you are probably repeating things or reproducing the key responsibilities of your current or previous employment.
  • Write a precise cover letter giving your motivation for the role, exceptional qualities, and experience that make you the ideal candidate (find these from your list of achievements and consider your values)
  • Speak to someone about the position you are applying for and ask them to look at your CV. At Oxford role HR, we have relevant conversations with qualifying candidates.
  • If you are offered an interview, prepare by reviewing the advert information and requirements and looking up the organization. Talk more about your experience as related to the organization and the job description without over-emphasizing what you read about the organization (the interviewer(s) know more than what you have seen online.
  • Finally, do not apply for every single job you see; think about whom you want to work for, and you can shine in your new role over the Imposter Syndrome.

Much is written on Imposter Syndrome; this link may help you identify your specific type of Imposter Syndrome.

Ottilia Dube
Ottilia Dube
Principal Consultant, Southern Africa at Oxford HR

Based in South Africa, Ottilia has over 20 years’ experience as a senior manager and consultant in human resources for both the non-profit and private sectors. She has been a senior manager for organisations as diverse as DFID, Oxfam, SOS Children’s Village and Action Aid and has worked in Southern African, African and International teams.

Ottilia brings a deep knowledge of the HR market of Southern Africa, as well as expertise in change management and leadership, HR policy and procedure development and implementation, executive recruitment, selection and placement including international relocations, compensation and benefit development and management, payroll and administration management and child protection and safe guarding.

Currently pursuing a DBA, Ottilia holds an MBA and is passionate about life, career and relationship coaching. Apart from being religious, Ottilia also spends time in creating floral decorations and gardening.