When I'm setting up my LinkedIn or presenting myself during an interview, I'm not sure how to seem confident without coming off as cocky. I need to sell myself, but I don't have any experience (as I've mentioned here before). So if I tried to write a summary on LinkedIn to create my own personal brand, won't it just come off as a lot of big talk with no real substance?

On one hand, I'm worried about being insecure, and on the other, I've heard some employers tell stories about guys who are all talk.

  • 1
    Are you referring to software? I know this is a bit of a generalization but if you're interviewing for developer jobs, confidence generally sets you apart a bit from quite a few other candidates. I mean that software developers tend toward the 'less confident at interviewing' side of things. Having said that, I would also argue that cocky and confidence are not necessarily related. I would say cockiness is more related to unwarranted confidence whereas confidence is fully justifiable.
    – pay
    Sep 1, 2016 at 17:38
  • The key thing is how you phrase it. For example, if you say something like, "During course works, I learned how to apply database changes and learned key ways to improve query speed." That is far better than saying, "I might have learned something during school but I have no real world experience."
    – Dan
    Sep 1, 2016 at 18:00
  • @pay I concur. In developer world, generally speaking the person who can best phrase something wins. Doesn't matter if they're right or if it applies to the situation.
    – Dan
    Sep 1, 2016 at 18:01
  • I seem to have accidentally give everyone the idea that I'm a programmer. I'm not looking for a job in IT. My coding skills are limited.
    – Student
    Sep 1, 2016 at 23:31
  • 1
    Might be helpful: workplace.stackexchange.com/a/9834/869
    – yoozer8
    Sep 2, 2016 at 15:05

1 Answer 1


Present yourself as yourself. Feel free to state what you think you can bring to the job that sets you apart from everyone else. Companies that like what they see will hire you and you don't want to work for companies where you have to pretend to be something else all the time.

At your level, the most critical thing is to not pretend to experience or knowledge you don't have and not to exaggerate what you have (for instance a class in C# is not the same thing as having expert knowledge). Anything you put in Linkedin or your resume can generate questions in an interview including technical questions. Once people identify you as lying, you lose all chances and get a bad reputation in the marketplace.

  • 1
    Couldn't have said it better myself. I will add, that if you sell a lie you have to maintain a lie. Way too much work! Sell yourself - the goods and the bads - and let them make the call. I've walked out of interviews sure I had the job, only to be passed over for another candidate. Conversely I've left interviews sure they wouldn't like me only to find out I was the top candidate. You never know what they are looking for, so don't try to be it. Just be you. Sep 1, 2016 at 20:10
  • Agree. Being yourself will typically get you the best results. Be confident in the things in which you are confident, be honest about your strengths and (when asked) your weaknesses. The employer giving you an interview already knows you have little experience, they are often looking for someone with the appropriate soft skills (eagerness, work culture fit, work ethic) who they can invest in. That is my experience in hiring and being hired in software development anyway. Good luck!
    – bluescores
    Sep 1, 2016 at 20:39

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