Confession time: although my job involves helping people network, promote themselves effectively, and land better jobs, I am an introvert by nature. Related: Networking Tips For Introverts: Get The Ball Rolling! How much of an introvert? When I was starting out, it would take me up to 20 minutes to "psych up" for a simple phone call. I avoided face-to-face meetings at all costs. And each and every action I took was accompanied by enormous amounts of self-doubt. Sound familiar? Researchers estimate that up to 50% of the population are introverts. And yet many of them, like Bill Gates and Barbara Walters, have gone on to achieve massive career success. If you're struggling to "come out of your shell" and start locking down new job opportunities, here are some tips that can help:
Focus On The 4 R's:
1. Research.Research jobs and employers thoroughly before submitting your resume and accompanying materials. Have a clear sense of the message you want to send - what are the core elements of the value you're bringing to the table, and does your resume communicate that? Expert tip: before an interview, look up your contact on LinkedIn and the company website to find nuggets of information that can serve as an ice breaker.
2. Reframe.Don't think of it as an interview (with all the anxiety that accompanies it) but a working meeting. Create a "value presentation" prior to the interview which highlights your fit for the role and how you'll help accomplish strategic objectives. That way, instead of worrying about answering questions in the "ideal" way you can launch right in and actively demonstrate value. Some elements you can include within a value presentation:
- A list of key job requirements (you can pull this directly from the job posting) and how you match up with them.
- Additional Areas of Expertise you bring to the position (otherwise known as "differentiators").
- Success Stories - Examples of how you added value, major accomplishments, and so on. You can also include some great testimonials here.
- Personal Success Factors - Personal qualities and strengths that will ensure your success on the job.
- A 30/60/90 day Strategic Action Plan - Here's where you outline your goals for "hitting the ground running" and rapidly delivering value to the company.