Eliminate These Words to Convey Confidence

Jennifer Kumar

Jennifer Kumar, Career Coach for the College of Social & Behavioral Science, offers advice to help you better showcase your abilities.

Published: June 21, 2024

Have you ever caught yourself saying any of the following?

“I was just a cashier.”
“I am only a student.”
“I have worked only menial jobs.”

How do the words we use impact how we feel about our experiences and how others interpret our impact?

Words Have Power

Every job, class, or project presents an opportunity to learn and grow, allowing us to learn transferable skills - skills that we learn in one setting that can be applied to other settings. Problem solving, teamwork, proofreading, and managing difficult situations are examples of transferable skills that employers look for. They can be extracted from jobs, courses, and project work you can showcase on your resume and in answers to interview questions.

Analyzing words that diminish impact and finding alternative ways to express experiences helps us communicate our confidence and make us feel better from the inside out.

Stop Using These Words

Small changes can have big impact. Try removing the qualifier words from these sentences.

“I was just a cashier.”
“I am only a student.”
“I have worked only menial jobs.”

Every experience has value, and removing the diminishing words reflects that value more accurately. Next, take it to the next level by adding detail about what you accomplished.


“I was just a cashier at….”


“I worked as a cashier at a busy store serving up to 500 customers every four-hour shift.” 

Both are true. One more accurately expresses the skills you can bring to your next opportunity.

Speak with Confidence

At U Career Success, we share tips to help you to articulate your experience so that you can step into your next interview with true career confidence.

When you meet with your career coach, they can help:

  • Review your resume
  • Build up your LinkedIn profile
  • Evaluate your prior experience and suggest future options
  • Practice your elevator pitch
  • Learn how to better network
  • Review your cover letter
  • Help you practice for an interview

Ready to get started building your career confidence? Our dedicated career coaches know how to help you succeed no matter where you are at in your career journey. Whether you’re looking for an internship, building resume skills, or on the hunt for your first post-grad gig, we are here to help! Make an appointment with your career coach today.

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