With the plethora of job-search advice for introverts (Is) and approximately zero for extraverts (Es), it must make the Es feel…unloved. I’d like to give some love to the Es, because that’s the kind of nice guy I am. In this post I’ll advise the Es on mistakes they can avoid.
There are three components of a job seeker’s marketing campaign, written documents, networking, and interviews, where Es can use some help.
1. Written communications. For most, the job search begins with submitting a résumé and posting a LinkedIn profile. The act of writing their marketing documents can sometimes be problematic for the Es, who prefer speaking over writing.
Is, on the other hand, prefer writing than conversing and, as a rule, excel in this area. The Is are more reflective and take their time to write their marketing materials. They prepare by researching the position and company—almost to a fault.
Es must resist the urge to hastily write a résumé and LinkedIn profile that fails to accomplish: addressing the job requirements in order of priority, highlighting relevant accomplishments, and promoting branding.
One excuse I hear from my extraverted customers for faltering in this area is that they’ll nail the interview. At this point I tell them they “ain’t” getting to the interview without a powerful résumé.
Where the Es can shine in this area of the job search is the distribution of their written material. They are natural networkers who understand the importance of getting the résumé into the hands of decision makers and, as such, should resist simply posting their résumé to every job board out there.
This is where the Is can take a lesson from their counterpart, the ability to network with ease.
2. Speaking of networking; Es are generally more comfortable than Is when it comes to attending formal networking events. But not all Es are master networkers.
The main faux pas of poor networkers is loquaciousness, which is a fancy word for talking too much. While Is are often accused of not talking enough, Es have to know when to shut the motor—a tall order for some Es.
Networking isn’t about who can say the most in a three-hour time period. Proper networking requires a give and take mentality. Take a lesson from the Is who listen to what others have to say, as well as ask probing questions. People appreciate being listened to.
Many of my extraverted customers tell me they talk too much, and some have admitted they annoy people. These folks feel the need to explain every little detail or their search or their past work. Others might just like the sound of their voice.
I would be remiss in not stating that I know plenty Es who are great listeners and are truly interested in what others have to say.
3. Es are known to be very confident at interviews, which is a good thing. But they can also be over confident which leads them to ignore the tenets of good interviewing. That’s a bad thing.
At interviews the Es must keep in mind that it’s not a time to control the conversation. The interviewer/s have a certain number of questions they need to ask the candidates, so it’s best to answer them succinctly while also supplying the proper amount of information.
Lou Adler writes in an article about answers that are too long:
The best answers are 1-2 minutes long….Interviewees who talk too much are considered self-absorbed, boring and imprecise. Worse, after two minutes the interviewer tunes you out and doesn’t hear a thing you’ve said.
One more area the Es must work on is conducting the proper research before an interview. They are confident oral communicators and may see no need to research the job, company, and competition; thus going in unprepared. Winging it is not going to win the job; the person with the right answers will.
The Is, on the hand, could take a lesson from the Es’ playbook in terms of confidence during the interview. They need to speak more freely and quicker; rather then reflecting and appearing to reflect too much. This is where the Is preparation comes in handy.
There has to be a middle ground, referred to by folks like Daniel Pink as ambiverts, when it comes to reaching the right amount of talking and listening at networking events and interviews. Accordingly, the Es who “score” slight in clarity on the continuum (11-13) are more likely to be better listeners, as well as comfortable with small talk. This is likely true for Is who also score in the slight range.
When it comes to written and oral communications in the job search, Es have to be cognizant of taking their time constructing their résumés and knowing when it’s time to listen as opposed to talking too much. Without understanding the importance of effective written and verbal communications, the job search for the Es can be a long haul.
Photo, Flickr, Source One Network Solutions
Bob, I am proud to be an introvert although some wouldn’t believe it at times. But that’s because in situations where they are very comfortable, introverts can be just as outgoing. The trick is to create those situations when needed – which doesn’t require becoming an extravert.
You and I would get along well at that dinner party. Hopefully you’ll be seated next to someone who’s sympathetic. 🙂
See, safe not to assume…I think it’s obvious I’m an introvert.
About dinner parties, etc., I’m trying to make my wife see that having a departure time is best for me; maybe a signal when it’s time to leave or a designated time. I’ve even suggested driving in separate cars, but she’s against that. The worst for me is an overly talkative person (introvert or extravert), because it leaves me no space to express my thoughts. There aren’t many people who I’d just listen to.
Agreed. Bores are not fun. The signal sounds like an excellent plan. I too have suggested the separate vehicle plan (it’s a long tradition in my family but that’s a tale for another day…) and it was not well-received. I won’t ask your wife’s type because I suspect what’s really important is that we’re all different and it helps to find compromises when the issues aren’t life or death.