While launching a job search may not rank in difficulty with rocket science, it has become increasingly difficult and more complex. If you add on top of that some Introvert tendencies, like a reluctance to “put yourself out there,” you are starting to nudge the scales towards seriously tough.
If you are on the brink of launching a job search or have started one, hit the pause button before doing anything else.
There are some simple guidelines you can follow to ensure you get the results you want, without the standard Introvert cringe:
1) Don’t cherry pick job search advice
There are volumes on job search advice.
If you pay attention, you’ll notice there are themes or things that get repeated. This should be a huge indicator that you need to do this “thing”. Too often I see job seekers decide to skip what they are being told to do. This will have dire consequences.
2) Don’t do everything at once
You will get overwhelmed, especially if you are an Introvert.
You have to figure out your keywords, branding, LinkedIn profile, Facebook, Twitter, resume, online job sites, the latest & greatest job search tool, finding recruiters, interview prep, salary study, body language,handshake, new wardrobe, company research, networking, and attending business events.
Long list? That’s just to name a few. The deal is, if you attempt to bite off too much at once, you’ll choke or die trying.
Start by being abundantly clear on 1 or 2 “job types” you are pursuing. You’d be shocked at how very few job seekers have real clarity. Then, work on a targeted resume.
3) It’s all about connecting
I deliberately put this in the middle, as Introverts really like to avoid this one (it’s the cherry picking I told you about on #1).
Most likely, you won’t find a job via a posted job. I’m sure someone has landed a job this way, but no one I know has been hired solely by pursuing a posted job.
That means you and your resume have to connect to a real live person. You can do this primarily through referrals and introductions from the people you know. People hire people. Online job search comforts Introverts because they don’t have to connect to a person. It’s a false sense of comfort.
Start out to build your confidence. Set up coffee with one person you know so you can let them know what you are looking for and see if they can introduce you to someone in your targeted company. Rinse and repeat. You will build confidence in doing this one at a time.
4) Figure out YOUR competitive advantage
You must think you have something to offer or you wouldn’t be pursuing a job. Why you? What is the thing that will set you apart from everyone else?
You have to get it first or no one else will. If you can figure out your competitive advantage, you can translate that into everything from your resume to your LinkedIn profile. We are all unique, even if we do the same job as a thousand other people.
5) Don’t take things personally
You will discover a complete lack of etiquette out there.
People don’t return emails or phone calls, they fail to follow up after interviews and they expect you to drop things just because they are hiring. You must pick up the slack and make the phone calls until you get a real human and do superhuman rescheduling. It’s not because they don’t like you, it’s because hiring someone takes a huge bite out of their schedule, and business must go on. Oh well.
As a fellow Introvert, your key to a flawless job search is to connect with people, which isn’t always easy. If you take it slow and easy, trust most of what you read on job search and know you are an asset, you’ll love the results.
About the Author
Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is author of two best selling books: Easier Networking for Introverts and the Socially Reluctant and Career Mapping for Climbing Managers: Plan Your Career on Purpose. Also known as the Introvert Whisperer, Dorothy is dedicated to helping Introverts achieve their career ambitions by using her unique insights gathered from 21 years in management at Intel Corporation.
Coming Soon! A new website from Dorothy Tannahill-Moran, Introvert Whisperer, dedicated to Ambitious Introverts for finding the best, actionable career advice. Sign up now for future notices:www.allthingscareer.com/iw-