Jobseeking often takes people out of their comfort zones.
However, if you’re not overly outgoing, or often feel as if your voice gets lost in the crowd, the prospect of promoting yourself to find the best job can be tough. And whether it’s writing a CV, attending an interview, or even applying for the right roles, for those with a more insular personality it can be a nerve-racking experience.
More of a thinker than a speaker? Here are some top jobseeking tips for introverts:
Choose the right role
First things first: try and identify the perfect position.
List all the things you think you do well, and find the jobs that best match your skills. If you’re most comfortable when working individually, for example, there are plenty of jobs which may suit you and compliment your personality.
Be realistic. There’s nothing to say that an introvert can’t excel in a customer facing position. However, if the thought of having to stand up and present to a room full of clients on a daily basis brings you out in a cold sweat, you will probably not be happy in this kind of career.
Find the right type of job for you, and your CV and interview will stand a much greater chance of success.
Concentrate on your strengths
When it comes to looking for a job, it’s easy to see shyness as something which could hold you back. But this definitely needn’t be the case.
With this in mind, play to your strengths as much as possible. This rule applies to your approach to jobseeking, as well as your CV. When writing your personal statement, talk confidently about yourself using quantifiable terms such as ‘successfully’, ‘proven’, ‘experienced’ and ‘track record’, words that will place the emphasis on your accomplishments.
Which brings me onto…
For many introverts, learning how to shout about their achievements can be difficult.
However, highlighting your accomplishments is an absolutely essential part of the jobseeking process, whether in your CV, or at an interview. It’s also a practical way to demonstrate what you can do.
If you struggle to talk about your successes, ask a colleague, former manager or professor to talk about some of the main things you’ve achieved. Just think of it as reporting the facts, rather than tooting your own horn.
At interview, bring a portfolio of your work or certificates along with you. This can help to clearly demonstrate what you are capable of, whilst letting your work and achievements speak for themselves.
Shy types often find themselves apologising when there’s really no need.
This can suggest a lack of confidence, so is always best avoided when it comes to your interview.
Cliché advice time: Be who you are, and be proud of it. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not.
OK, so it may seem stupid to stand in front of the mirror and rehearse what you’re going to say at an interview. However, the more you practice and the more you go over your lines, the more confident you’ll be when it comes to the real thing.
You could also try asking a (very close, non-judgemental) friend or family member to run through a couple of interview questions with you. Just make sure it’s someone honest and supportive, who you’re completely comfortable with.
Whichever method you choose, try and keep your cool, speak slowly and maintain eye contact. Which obviously, can be easier said than done if you’re relying on the mirror for feedback…
Always take a pad and pen into an interview with you. No exceptions.
Not only will this allow your interviewer to talk uninterrupted, it also means that you won’t miss out on any of the points you want to bring up. And if you don’t feel like you can speak up during the questioning stage, you can always bring up your points when given the chance to ask questions at the end of proceedings.
Note taking is even more important, when it comes to group interviews, especially if you find it a struggle to make your voice heard over more dominant interviewees. Simply write all the points down, and make sure to mention these if you get a chance towards the end.
Finally, even if you forget what you want to say during the interview, sending a well-written thank you email afterwards is a good place to include any nervous omissions.