There’s no time when the disparity between introverts and extroverts is more apparent than during the job search. Introverts prefer time alone and become drained by social interaction, which can create a barrier to networking and reaching out to potential employers. And the quiet, less-animated nature of introverts can be mistaken for low self-esteem. While job searching will never be a great experience for anyone, there are a few important tips to help introverts navigate the process.
Stay in Practice
Because introverts like time alone, it’s easy to forgo human contact for long periods of time. Without recurring, frequent opportunity for social interaction one can become a little too comfortable being alone. Introverts, particularly those looking for work, may need to force themselves to socialize. At least once a week, make a point to attend a social function or job interview. It doesn’t need to be big or important, just some occasion that allows for conversation with others.
Going on job interviews without getting the job may seem pointless, but it allows you to practice the most difficult step in the job search process. If you’re a college student, see if the career center offers practice interviews. The more you interview, the more confidence you’ll gain. Confidence comes through during an interview and can make the difference when a potential employer makes the final decision.
As mentioned above, confidence is important when interacting with potential employers. Introverts may seem to lack confidence due to our body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. A firm handshake, eye contact, and a smile will help project confidence. When practicing interview questions with friends, ask for feedback on both the answers and your body language. You may also record yourself answering practice interview questions. It may be uncomfortable, but this method will allow you to see and hear yourself from a different perspective.
Diversify the Search
Online job boards are perfect for the introverted job seeker. But since many jobs aren’t advertised, you’ll need to go out of your comfort zone a bit. In order to become good at networking, you’ll need to be comfortable talking about yourself. Write down a brief statement about your education, experience, and job search that you can mention when the opportunity arises. It will help to have the words planned and you’ll only need to look for chances to use them. For more advice, read our networking tips for introverts.
Introversion doesn’t need to hold you back in the job search. Build your confidence by practicing interview techniques and looking for opportunities to interact with others. For more tips on thriving in a world made for extroverts, read The Introvert Advantage: Making the Most of Your Inner Strengths