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Ten Job-Seeking Tips for Introverts

Ten Job-Seeking Tips for Introverts

Dr. Katharine Brooks

June 28, 2010

8. Always follow up the interview with a thank-you note. It’s not unusual to realize after an interview that you should have told the interviewer something you forgot, so use the note as your chance to bring this up. But don’t bring it up by writing, “I misspoke” or “I may not have explained this…”— rather write something like, “I just wanted to add a point to my response about…” Choose your comments wisely. Don’t restate or correct everything you said in the interview! Just pick one thing (two at most) that you want to clarify. Otherwise, spend the note reiterating the connection between you and the position, what you learned, and how you’re looking forward to the opportunity to work for their company.

9. Prepare for networking events by planning ahead: you’re probably not that comfortable with the small talk at these events. Start by finding a comfortable setting— like the small tables often set up around the room. You can always talk about the food with whomever is at the table. Many introverts have strong passions and can talk about them when with like-minded people. So make it an experiment when you meet someone to see what you have in common. Focus on likely commonalities like TV shows or music. Read a newspaper on the day of the event. Check the headlines for interesting events people might want to talk about. Have some conversation starters ready— media is always a good start— TV, movies, music, sports. One of the best books about networking is Keith Ferrazi’s Never Eat Alone.

10. Play to your strengths. If you’re better online than in person, take advantage of online networking opportunities like MonsterCollege, LinkedIn, Facebook, and any internet-based gatherings of professionals in your field. Many valuable relationships have been formed, and many jobs have been acquired solely through online networking.

Finally, while introversion may be an innate trait, social skills and appropriate networking and interviewing behavior can be learned by anyone. Find yourself a coach who will help you practice for your interviews and for networking situations.

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Featured Author: Dr. Katharine Brooks
Dr. Katharine S. Brooks is the Director of Career Services for the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas in Austin, where she also teaches courses focusing on the connection between a liberal arts education and the workplace. She is a licensed and certified counselor, and is the creator of the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Career Coaching Intensives, highly successful sold-out training sessions for college career counselors. She has been in the career services field for over twenty years, is the author of You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career and writes a blog, “Career Transitions”, for Psychology Today. Brooks has a doctorate in educational psychology and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from West Virginia University. Her bachelor’s degree is in sociology and anthropology from Gettysburg College.