Searching for a new job and applying to the next step of your career can be a very demanding and laborious process depending on your goals and situation in your life. Especially so if you are an introvert. For some introverts, the process of applying to a new job might feel very intimidating and frustrating. Applying to a new job often means, that you will need to step outside far from your comfort zone; meet new people, make some phone calls to strangers and so on. Here are some job search tips for us introverts, to make the process of searching and applying to a new job a bit easier and more comfortable.
For some people applying to a new position is easy and comfortable by nature especially if the person already has the needed skills for applying to a new job and has his or her resume already up to date. The job search is often even easier if you already know enough people who can help you in the process. For some people, the process of getting a new job might feel intimidating because of a lack of knowledge on how to apply to a new job, and also because of lack of self-confidence and fear of failure and rejection. Therefore some job search tips might be welcome. Applying to a new job may be very rewarding at the end of the process. Here are some job search tips and tricks for us introverts to make the job search go just a bit smoother.
TL;DR – Job search is all about the people!
Good social networks can always help you to find and get the job of your dreams, but as an introvert, it is a good idea to network at your own pace so you don’t have to force it. Use the internet to find new and interesting opportunities; get creative and be thorough. All jobs are not found from the most popular job boards, so ask your friends and old colleaques for help. This one goes usually without saying, but is good to remember; update your CV/Resume and do it now! You are very likely to need it along the way. Know your SWOT, which is strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Ask yourself, what are your real strengths and be honest to yourself. Emphasize the positive sides of yourself. Do your homework and prepare well for the writing of the job application and prepare especially well for the upcoming interview. And remember; you are not alone! Ask for help from the people close to you.
Network at your own speed
Networking is not always the strongest skill of us introverts, but it has its place and time in job search and thus it is the first item on the list of job search tips. The networks that you have are like social currency. Networking is a very important part of today’s working life because your networks can help you in your work-related tasks and people in your networks can help you to cultivate new ideas and opportunities in your career. You can succeed in your tasks a lot easier when you know the people who are able and willing to help you.
Good networks are not beneficial only for your work-related tasks but also when you are unemployed and looking for a new job. When you are searching for a new opportunity it is a good idea to cultivate and use your networks as much as possible. It is very likely that you already know someone who might know someone else with a better knowledge of an open position.
In practice, networking is pretty much meeting and connecting with new people either face-to-face, online, over the phone, or using some other media. Basically the purpose of the networking efforts is to lower the barriers of contacting people who you already know and getting to know new people who you can contact. To get the benefit from your networks in the job search is not rocket science. You might already be one step closer to finding a new job opportunity if you just know that one person who knows someone other who has better knowledge of an open position of your dreams.
Especially at the times of coronavirus, when social distancing is a must and there are no live seminars and other social events to attend to, it is a good idea to attend online seminars, courses, lectures, and other events and try to connect with new people through those. You can try to connect with other participants, lecturers, etc during or after the event using the online platform and social media. And remember, connecting online is often times a lot easier for us introverts than face-to-face!
Use the internet to find new and interesting opportunities
In many countries and cultures, much of the job search process is today done online. Many open positions are announced on some kind of job boards, companies websites and on LinkedIn. Many job applications are asked to be sent via forms or emails. Some possible personality and IQ tests are done online and some interviews may be done online using some kind of online meeting platform or a dedicated online interview software. Most of the open positions can be found and applied online, so practically you have to use the internet.
If you plan to find and apply to an open position, you should definitely use the internet to find new, interesting positions in your desired field and geographic area. Start by searching the open positions from different kinds of job boards, the websites of interesting companies and organizations, social media and you can also ask people in your network if they know anything that might be interesting to you. I know that this part might be a bit daunting to some introverts, but remember that asking for help is the first thing you should do before expecting to receive help from others.
Do your SWOT and emphasize the positive sides of yourself
When you decide to begin to hunt a new job or position, it is a good idea to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses thoroughly. Ask yourself, what are your strengths and what tasks and skills are you very good at? Don’t be too critical towards yourself. Be honest, but fair! Think about what skills and tasks are easy for you and what you enjoy doing? A personality test migh be very helpfull, if you haven’t done one already.
Great strengths do not come without some form of weaknesses. To be able to complete your SWOT analysis, you also need to examine your weaknesses and the skills that you should develop. Ask yourself, what things are is very challenging for you, and what skills you are not so good at but you should be better. When you go to an interview, it is not uncommon at all for an interviewer might ask about what your strengths and weaknesses are. It is good to be well prepared, recognize your weaknesses and have some sort of a plan on how to overcome your weaknesses if you get that dream position of yours.
Getting a job is often a matter of who you know and what you are capable of, so remember to emphasize the positive sides! Be true to your self and emphasize your strengths and possibilities as an introvert. This way you don’t have to hide your introverted personality and you may be able to turn your introverted personality into a valuable asset if you haven’t already done so.
Update your CV / Resume
When you begin searching for a new opportunity in the job market, you should always make sure your resume is ready and up to date when you need it. There are some very basic pieces of information that you should include in your resume like your name, contact details, skills, and past experiences. There are a lot of recommendations on what you should or shouldn’t mention in your cv. One way to look at it is that there might not never be that one size fits for all resume. It might be a good idea to tailor your resume for each particular position you are applying to and make sure this way that the presented information is relevant.
What you should mention in your resume depends a lot on what kind of background and working experience you have and also a lot on what kind of position you are applying to. Seek help from professionals if you need to when drafting your resume. A good looking and informative resume might be very important when you are applying to an open position. Especially if you don’t know anyone from that particular company or organization beforehand.
Prepare well for the interview
This list of job search tips wouldn’t be complete unless there was attention paid to the importance of being prepared. It often pays off to be well prepared, so do your homework also in the job search. When you get a chance for an interview it is very important to be well prepared. You should know what you want, what you are good at and how you could benefit the company or organization. In the interview, you should be well prepared to answer questions about your personality, your skills, your experiences, your goals and why the company should hire you instead of some other person. It surely helps if you prepare in advance.
Before the interview, make sure to familiarize yourself with the facts about the company; what the company does, what do they offer to their customers, who their customers are, and who already work in the company. You can learn a lot about many companies from their websites and other publicly available materials. Search for what you can find about the organization and people already working there. What kind of backgrounds do the other employees have. What kind of customers does the company have? What are the products and services of the company and how are they priced? Read the history of the company if you can find it. The more information you have the better. Remember that you are trying to sell a service (your labor input) to the organization on some specific price (your salary request). Make sure you know as much as possible about the buyer, the organization you are applying to and that you know what you are capable of delivering.
Ask for help
Last but definitely not the least, it is usually a good idea to ask some help from your friend, a past colleague, supervisor, a relative, a family member or seek help from the professionals when trying to find a new job and applying to a new position. Ask them to proofread your resume and the cover letter of your application.
Ask the people close to you about your personality and what they think your strengths are. Ask recommendations and references from the people you feel comfortable doing so. For instance, they could be your previous supervisors and colleagues. Even better if they are somehow known by someone already inside the organization you are trying to apply to. Just ask, even if it is not the easiest thing to do! And remember; you might get some very valuable job search tips from them aswell.