Introversion and the job search

An effective job search generally requires a heavy dose of interaction with other people, particularly in networking and interviewing situations. For extroverts, this process is often stimulating; the energy these individuals get from communicating with others often helps to carry them through their job search. For introverts, however, fighting against a natural preference for quiet self-reflection can seem like an uphill battle. As an introvert myself, I empathize with students who feel anxiety about the amount of interpersonal interaction required in the job search.

If you are an introvert who finds yourself in this situation, the following resources might be helpful to prepare and guide you through the job search and beyond.

  • Hannah Kane of Idealist offers some great tips in her February 5 article “Job Seeking as an Introvert.” Her suggestions include using the internet to connect virtually to others who can be helpful in your job search and to practice as much as possible before interviewing for a position.
  • The Career Center’s Resource Library offers a number of print resources to assist you. Among these are Self-Promotion for Introverts (Nancy Ancowitz), Networking for People Who Hate Networking (Devora Zack), and Good in a Room (Stephanie Palmer). These books are available in our office and can be checked out with your AU ID.
  • A key element to overcoming introversion in interviews is to prepare for and practice responses to common interview questions. The Career Center offers resources on interview preparation both online and in print in our office.
  • Finally, it is important to remember that introverts have special qualities and talents that should be recognized and utilized by employers. One of my favorite TED Talks, “The Power of Introverts,” touches on this issue and might help to give you a confidence boost throughout your job search.
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