3 ways introverts need to promote themselves in the job search

I’m cleaning the house, going room to room, and come across a test sheet attached to the refrigerator with a magnet that says Welcome to Massachusetts. The test is one of my daughter’s and it says in large red ink, “100%!” Upon close inspection, I notice the test was taken in September of last year. I throw away the test.

I go to the living room and start watching the Celtics/Heat game and suddenly jump out of the seat. I stride to the trash. There I retrieve my daughter’s test sheet and put it back on the refrigerator.

I don’t do this because the test covers a stain on our refrigerator—I do this for a different reason. When my daughter attached her test to the fridge, she did it because she wanted to promote her achievement. I want her to know that self-promotion is acceptable.

My colleague, Wendy Gelberg, is a champion of introverts. I believe she would call my daughter’s act of tacking her test on the refrigerator a healthy way for a teenager to promote herself to her parents; and in fact we were very pleased when we first saw her grade…almost eight months ago.

Introverts who have a hard time promoting themselves must learn how to do it correctly. Especially when it comes to jobseekers who are trying to make a great impression in the job search. In her article, Alternatives to Self-Promotion, Wendy suggests three ways for introverts to promote themselves without looking boastful:

  1. Let others speak for you
  2. Bring a portfolio
  3. Report the facts.

Of the three ways mentioned in Wendy’s article, my daughter illustrates “bring a portfolio.” She is providing a visual aid for us when she attached it to the refrigerator. She can tell us every time she does well, but she feels that showing proof of her success would deliver the message more effectively.

“We all know that sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words–and sometimes having some visual aids can help you promote yourself,” Wendy states.

The portfolio jobseekers show potential employers acts as a picture. Wendy gives “work samples, news articles, certificates/licenses, letters of praise, or other documents” as examples of bringing a portfolio. Bringing a  portfolio to the interview also helps introverts get over the fear of “boasting,” as it confirms to introverts of their accomplishments; it is concrete. Furthermore, employers are convinced of said accomplishments.

The third way to promote yourself in the job search, Report the Facts, is also imperative to doing well at the interview. This means you must back up what you claim. Wendy suggests answering question with the Problem-Action-Result (PAR) formula, and I agree. The PARs explain the skills you’ve demonstrated in the past and also uncover other valuable skills, skills the employers might not ask for but will be happy to hear.

The Celtics are down by nine points, the bathroom still needs to be cleaned, and I have to make dinner; but I’m feeling a sense of pride for what my daughter has accomplished, even if it was eight months ago. More to the point, I’m proud of her for realizing that self-promotion is necessary, even if it’s only for her parents. Self-promotion will be more important in her future job search. This is something I’m going to tell her when I have the chance, even though she’s only 16 years-old.

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