Hi, my name is Bec and I’m an introvert. No, I’m not overtly shy, and I’m certainly not, despite the occasional assumption, stand-offish. I do have to work up the courage and motivation to attend large networking events, I don’t speak for the sake of it, I take a little longer to warm to people, and I spend time by myself to gather my energy.
However, self-reflective? Well-prepared? Conscientious? A good listener? Yup.
That’s where we shine my introverted allies. We possess qualities that employers’ rate highly and which can make us strong competitors in every aspect of the job hunt.
Our online presence is our advantage. As introverts, we take the time to consider and express our responses, thoughts and ideas, before they fall out of our mouth or onto a page, and as such, can make valuable contributions to the dialogue within our industry, and from the comfort of our own home.
The face-to-face is where we can struggle. We might berate ourselves for not approaching new people and situations with the apparent confidence and openness as our extrovert friends, instead of focusing on our own strengths. Like the fact that we’re great listeners! Ask questions of others to take the focus of yourself, and don’t feel bad about just simply observing and being ‘in’ the environment the first few times.
Another strength? Our finesse for research and preparation. By researching who’s hosting, who’s attending, what they do and a point of interest that can spark a conversation, we can feel so much more comfortable and confident.
Another effective research tool in our repertoire? The informational interview. Take your online network offline by reaching out to someone working in an area that interests you. Interaction in a one-on-one setting can often be our forte.
- Ask your contacts / friends if there are any you can attend with them. A friendly face will put your mind at ease.
- Arrive early so you’re not having to walk into a flood of unfamiliar people or approach already established ‘cliques’.
- Push yourself a little more each time – ask a speaker a question, introduce yourself to someone new. You’ll surprise yourself!
Possibly the most daunting part of the introvert’s job search. Now I’m not too crash hot at thinking on my feet, so not in a month of Sundays would you catch me going into an interview without noting down and practicing examples of my experiences to common interview questions, as well as talking points about myself. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
The Follow Up
Everyone, introverted or extroverted should follow up with a thank you note, but this can be particularly useful to the introvert. Use this opportunity to address any responses in your interview that may have fallen short.
If you need help preparing for and standing out at your next job interview, please reach out!