Do you know an introvert who is an active listener and can also make small talk with the best of them; is enthusiastic about writing and also enjoys speaking in public; and thinks before he acts, yet takes well-timed risks?
He’s an all-around person who combines the best of an introvert and an extravert. When it comes to the job search, this is exactly what the introvert jobseeker must become. Adopting characteristics of both types may be difficult, awkward, and exhausting; but he must maintain his focus on the endgame.
1. Being proactive. The introvert is reflective… focused…when it comes to the job search, but thinking too much about the proper ways to make that call to a desired employer can hinder her efforts. Making personal contact can cause paralysis if she’s unwilling to get outside her comfort zone.
The extravert, who’s been criticized for acting before thinking, can teach the introvert a lesson on taking action. She will do her sleuthing (LinkedIn, Google, or a connection within a company) for a hiring manager’s contact info and pick up the phone to inquire about openings or secure an informational meeting.
2. Networking. The introvert is someone who will listen to a potential connection, ask insightful question, and actually retain the other networker’s answers. But have you ever encountered an awkward moment when you’re standing with someone and he’s not saying a word, just staring into his glass of wine? The silence is so loud that you can hear a pin drop.
This is when the extravert’s ability to engage in small talk must be emulated by the introvert to save the day. The extravert will fire up the conversation with talk of current events (not religious or political), inquiries about her new friend’s family, occupation, or sports, etc.
3. Marketing material. Because the introvert prefers written communications, writing résumés and cover letters should come easy to him. Research is essential in understanding employers’ needs and then describing how he can satisfy those needs. This is right up the introvert’s alley. How the introvert distributes his written material determines the success in getting it to the person that counts.
The introvert can again benefit from the extravert who will use his outgoing nature to distribute a résumé and cover letter in person, at an informational meeting or persuading the right person to hand them to the hiring manager. He will not spend hours a day blasting his written communications into the dark void known as the job boards.
4. The interview. The introvert prepares well for the interview. She has done her research on the position and company, as well as the industry. The difficult questions will not surprise her because of her preparation. She is reflective and this will come through during the interview. However, she may come across as too reflective, not spontaneous enough.
The extravert, on the other hand is all about spontaneity. She is outgoing, gregarious, and feels comfortable making small talk. The introvert can benefit from her extraverted side by adopting these traits. She must also remember to smile and show enthusiasm.
The introvert and extravert can make a good team. For some introverts, all of this is easier said than done. That’s why jobseekers should help each other in their search. Both have strengths from which the other can benefit, so it makes sense that two jobseekers combine forces to achieve their goals.