By nature, introverts don’t typically claim the spotlight in the workplace. Introvert characteristics lend themselves more to preferring alone time over social situations and enjoying quiet over bustling environments.
Despite the leadership stereotypes that may dominate portrayals in pop culture, introversion is actually a preferred leadership style. The 2019 MBTI® global sample found nearly 57% of people around the world prefer introversion in leaders. Introverts may be more likely to deeply analyze situations and act with restraint rather than impulse. They also may prefer writing over talking and have strong empathy skills.
If you’re an introvert, you have a lot to offer as a professional. And since around 25% to 40% of people are introverts, you’re definitely not alone. Here’s how you can use introverted characteristics to land your dream job.
1. Network Online
Networking online gives introverts the ability to make connections in a non-invasive way. Introverts can use written communication styles to introduce themselves on networks like LinkedIn or via email. You can start conversations online and establish your relationships before you meet in person.
When you’re looking for a job, you can use online networking to:
- Email or message your contacts on LinkedIn to let them know you’re in the job market and tell them about the type of job you’re looking for
- Connect with leaders you look up to and potential mentors to expand your network
- Reach out to hiring managers or recruiters to explain what you offer
You can also use social networks like Twitter and Instagram to follow businesses and thought leaders you’re interested in connecting with. Converse at your own pace and use the networks to build deeper connections.
2. Highlight Your Strengths
Many typical introvert characteristics are also in-demand skills in the workplace. According to a 2021 report by Indeed, among the top 20 most in-demand skills were:
- People management
- Time management
Communication, active listening, teamwork, conflict resolution, strategy, problem-solving, critical thinking, empathy and relationship building are also strong transferable skills most companies value. You can highlight introvert-powered skills like these on a resume, on your LinkedIn profile and in a cover letter as you’re applying for jobs.
Many introverts work well alone and are adept at autonomously accomplishing tasks with minimal direction. Skills like these may impress employers, especially when job descriptions list qualifications like these. Read the job descriptions carefully for what you’re applying for, so you can match up your skills to what the job requires.
3. Explain Accomplishments
When you want to stand out among other job applicants, quantifiable achievements can help you grab a hirer’s attention. Some jobs have hundreds of applicants, so numbers-based accomplishments provide proof of the skills and value you offer. The following are some examples of how to quantify your performance.
- Amount of money you saved a company
- A specific financial value you added to a company
- The number of people you managed
- The number of projects you worked on
- The percentage of growth you achieved
- The value your company grew from when you started to when you left
Many introverts prefer writing to communicate over talking. You can use your resume, LinkedIn profile and cover letter to do the initial “talking” for you by explaining in detail the exact value you brought to previous positions.
4. Prepare for the Interview
As we explained in our guide to a successful job interview, a fear of public speaking is common, for introverts and extroverts alike. If you’re stressed about a job interview, you can prepare by practicing with someone you trust before the real thing.
Give your interview practice partner questions you expect to be asked during the interview, and ask the person you’re practicing with to write a few of their own, as well. Ask for feedback after the mock interview and practice again, if necessary.
Use your research skills to get to know the company before you meet with its representatives. Be prepared to ask a few questions at the end of the interview to reinforce your interest in the company.
Before your actual interview, give your confidence a boost by wearing professional clothes you’re comfortable in. Make sure you’re groomed and look your best.
Come prepared to the interview with any materials that were requested, such as a portfolio. Aim to arrive at the location at least 10 minutes early, so you don’t feel rushed. Sit up straight with your shoulders down and back to project confidence.
After the interview, send a thank you note that expresses your gratitude and what you hope the next step will be. Reiterate why you’re excited about the potential to work with the company.
Need Extra Help? Work with a Recruiter
Here’s a bonus tip for introverts: you can work with a recruiter, who can get to know you and advocate on your behalf. The benefit of creating a profile with a recruiter is that the recruiter can tell the company why you’re worth considering. They can help you get your foot in the door and move you along the hiring process.
AccruePartners is a talent acquisition firm specializing in industries like IT, human resources, digital and creative, corporate support, finance and accounting. You can browse open jobs here and connect with us if we can help you with your job search.