The Job Search Tip Introverts Hate (But Desperately Need)
No matter how talented, skilled, or educated you are…if you’re an introvert, you're at a bit of a disadvantage in a job search. I am not an introvert, but I speak to a lot of them, coaching them through the process of getting a new job. Related: How Introverts Can Land A Better Job The vast majority of them are amazing, highly qualified people who do their jobs extremely well—but they have a lot of trouble when it comes time to get hired. There’s one piece of advice I give that introverts almost universally step back from or even sneer at. Here’s what it is…are you ready? The job search is a sales process, and you need to ‘sell yourself’ within that process. What I’ve found is that job seekers with more reserved personalities aren’t as interested in hearing this. They take a big step back from this kind of mindset, because it comes with a need for more aggressiveness or assertiveness than they might be naturally comfortable with in a job search. If you’re an introvert, what kind of image pops up in your mind when you hear that? An overly-aggressive used-car salesman? A pitchman on a TV infomercial? Put those thoughts out of your head. That isn’t at all what I mean. What I’m talking about is a guideline or a frame of reference you can use to take action that will get you hired. It does require you to step out of your comfort zone, but the rewards for making that effort are great. You have a greater chance of winding up in a job you love, rather than a job that appears in front of you that may not be the best fit. You will almost certainly get a job faster, which puts money in your pocket in terms of a paycheck. Months without earning a paycheck adds up to thousands of dollars in lost income. How does it work in practical terms? In the big picture, you are the ‘product,’ the hiring manager (your future boss) is the ‘customer,’ and your salary is the ‘purchase price.’ The psychological process of an employer choosing to hire you is the same as that of a customer choosing to buy a product. When you break that down, you see that: 1. Your resume is a marketing document (not a job history) that needs to reveal the benefits of the product using data-based evidence. That means using numbers, dollars and percentages to describe your accomplishments. (See more about resume quantification here.) 2. Your social media profiles are advertising—like commercials or billboards that grab attention and generate interest in your product. (You must be on LinkedIn, but don’t forget the power of Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.) 3. The interview is a sales call where you’re talking to the customer about what your product can do for them. How can you benefit that company? What do you bring? When you think of it this way, all of your interview answers become another way for you to show or describe what they’ll get out of hiring you. This makes all your answers much more effective. 4. Also in the interview, you’ll bring ‘sales materials’ that are printed evidence of the benefits of your product. You’ll bring a brag book that shows your past successes, as well as a 30-60-90-day plan that maps out what you will do for them in the future. (Find out more about 30-60-90-day plans here.) 5. At the end of the interview, you act like a sales rep and close. This means that you ask for the business or the sale—the job. You say something like, “Based on what we’ve talked about so far, do you agree that I would be a good fit for this job?” This question is a technique borrowed directly from sales pitches. Most introverts are intensely uncomfortable with the idea of closing. However, I think that the results you will get from it are worth stepping out of your comfort zone. When you close, you increase your chances of getting the job offer by 30% - 40%. If you do feel uncomfortable, stop thinking of it as a sales technique. Think of it as good communication—because it is. You’re simply asking, ‘Are we on the same page?’ ‘Have I told you everything you need to know?’ All of these steps are really about communicating more effectively with hiring managers. Better communication is a goal worth chasing for all of us. If you’re an introvert, coming at your job search with this mindset will help you get a better job. I encourage you to learn more about this by attending on of my free training webinars and learning more practical tips that will get you hired.
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