A job search is stressful for anyone, but introverts can feel exhausted and overwhelmed at the prospect of interviews, networking, and subtle pressure to ignore their very nature and be outgoing and extroverted for even short periods of time. The very best advice for introverts on the hunt for the next job or the next step up on their career ladder is to be prepared, be practiced, and be true to your nature.
Update your resume, business cards, and social media. Make sure they match with exactly the same dates and job titles, skills, and education. Have your interview suit or dress cleaned and be sure it fits. Polish your personal branding, make sure you’re using a professional head shot or at least a photo where you look professional on your social media and website. Let your network know you’re looking for your next job. All of this preparation looks great to hiring influencers, and gives you more confidence in yourself.
Everyone feels a bit nervous going into an interview or new networking event during a job search. Practice your elevator pitch, practice your smile and your handshake, and practice a few behavioural interview questions. This repetition makes it easier to come up with things to say in the heat of the moment, it allows you to focus on your answer instead of your discomfort, and makes it easier to choose the impression you want to leave on hiring influencers. All that practice can feel a little false at first, but you’ll find that it allows you to point out your strengths and emphasize your skills, while turning your introverted nature into a positive.
Be true to your nature.
Seek jobs that play to your strengths. Introverts are often creative problem-solvers, diligent employees, and self-motivated. Avoid jobs that require working with large groups or public speaking if you find those tasks exhausting. Search for the jobs that allow you to work alone, in small groups, or in a quiet environment. While you must network, you can build your connections one-on-one if you are diligent about scheduling time with your contacts and save the big events for when you need to expand your network in a hurry. Highlight skills and experience that are focused in areas in which you’d like to work. You might have excelled at Debate Team in college, but that doesn’t mean that public speaking is a great match today.
Don’t forget to give yourself time to rest and rebound from each interview, network event, or practice session. You’re working hard on your job search, you deserve to have time to yourself!