Job Search Tips for Introverts
For introverts, job searching comes with a unique set of challenges. After all, introverts notably feel sapped after group gatherings, are frequently described as reserved, and can struggle to make small talk. This combination of characteristics can make interviewing, in particular, difficult for the personality type.
If this description sounds familiar, you may be an introvert yourself. As with any job seeker, finding a work environment and job that's comfortable and allows you to flourish is important for your happiness and success.
How to Identify a Job That's Right for You
Laurie A. Helgoe, author of Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength, writes that "…any environment that consistently leaves you feeling bad about who you are is the wrong environment." It's important for introverts to find a company culture and work responsibilities that fit well with their personality. Work can be challenging, but should not make you feel miserable.
The job and company description, as well as requirements mentioned in the posting, often reveal a lot. Does the listing describe employees as "working and playing hard"? Or does it mention a weekly employer-sponsored social get together? Introverts often avoid group gatherings, preferring solitude or one-on-one socializing. Be aware that while participating in work-related social activities may be voluntary, opting out may limit your ability to flourish at the company.
As an introvert. Introverts do well working independently, but also typically flourish on collaborative projects. A listing looking for "a team player" might be a good fit. Jobs that need people that are "detail oriented" are also ideal for introverts.
Emphasize Your Qualifications in Your Cover Letter
In your cover letter, you will want to highlight your relevant experience and accomplishments. But a cover letter is also an opportunity to emphasize your particular personality traits and soft skills.
As an introvert, you may do well working independently, have high attention to detail, and an ability to focus and get through even the more tedious aspects of a project. Give examples of ways these abilities – or others – have been beneficial to projects or employers.
Preparing for an Interview as an Introvert
Ward off interview jitters with advance practice and prep. Learn tips on how to prepare for an interview as an introvert, including advice on scheduling interviews and how to answer unexpected questions.
And keep in mind one major advantage introverts have in interviews: typically, introverts are excellent listeners. Use this ability to get a sense of the interviewer's wants and needs for the job, and to tailor your answers accordingly.
Interview Your Interviewer
Regardless of personality type, you should always interview your interviewer. A job interview is not a one-direction conversation.
Ideally, you will leave the interview with a clear sense of the responsibilities of the position, what you would do on a day-to-day basis, the structure of the team, and the company culture. As with your analysis of the job posting, look for signs that the position is a good fit for your personality.