DEAR ABBY: I am a college freshman. I have decided I want to get a job so I can support myself and pay half the rent in the apartment my mom resides in.
I have always been shy because I don't really know how to talk to people. Every interview I go on, I never get a callback. How do I get connected at school and manage a job? How can I have more confidence in myself for job interviews? -- CLUELESS IN ILLINOIS
DEAR CLUELESS: People convey confidence by looking others in the eye when they talk to them and being conscious of good posture. When you apply for your next job -- one you think you would be suited for -- write down and memorize five reasons why the company would be lucky to have you. Recite them for the interviewer, and this, too, will convey confidence.
If you are not hired, rather than blame yourself, accept that there's a lot of competition out there, so don't beat yourself up if you don't receive an offer from every company you apply to. Ask interviewers who don't hire you what you can do better. Practice makes perfect. Each interview should get easier.
As to getting connected at school, join special interest groups that you have time for between your study and work schedule. Your time may be limited, but these groups offer an opportunity to meet new people with whom you have a common interest.