How introvert job seekers go from mainstream to dream candidate with personal branding
The #1 mindset shift you need to make if you want to attract job opportunities in line with your personality and skills.
I recently had an interesting conversation with a 1:1 client while we were just about to finalize their Personal Brand. Crafting a strong Personal Brand is part of our signature program “Introvert Career Foundations”, and at this point in the process, we were down to three key elements that stand out about that client from a perspective of their killer strengths, ambitions, personal style & values. Those are the elements they feel most in tune with and want stakeholders at work to remember about them.
Now, that client is an INFP Mediator with massive potential in their ability to empathize with others and tap into people’s feelings while undergoing change in an organization. So naturally, empathy was one of those three elements we had narrowed down to in their Personal Brand.
Here’s what this client was concerned with:
Although the aspect of empathy really hit home with their personality & style, they did question whether Hiring Managers or Recruiters would find empathy “appealing” on a job application or Linkedin profile.
I admit, it’s a fair challenge. One I hear all too often.
And if we’re being honest, does anyone care about empathy as a career skill? Admittedly, empathy does sound like more of a nice to have rather than a killer strength, doesn’t it?
I bet there are Recruiters out there who’d rather go for candidates who call themselves “team players”, “transformers” or “change agents”. Sticking to the usual cues that have established themselves as power words and application etiquette over the years.
Well, not to me. As a former HR Manager and Recruiter, I always found those “corporate buzzwords” really off-putting on a job profile. Why? Because they tell me nothing about the person behind the profile.
As a Recruiter, I’m looking for something tangible. Something that eludes to the human behind the application. And more often than not, it’s the elements that candidates are most self-conscious of, most vulnerable with, that have made them dream candidates in my eyes.
Mindset shift for introvert job seekers
Now, you might be thinking not every Recruiter goes about screening candidates that same way. And that’s true. But what’s also true, is that you wouldn’t want to appeal to every Recruiter.
In fact, this is one of the most crucial mindset shifts for introverts in the workplace: If you’re looking to land a dream job opportunity, you’re going to want to put some people off.
Like genuinely have them look at your CV, application or listen to you during a coffee chat and think “That person’s not for me”.
Scary, right? Doesn’t this reduce your chances of getting hired? Absolutely not.
In fact, in increases your chance for the right person, the right Recruiter, the right Hiring Manager to look at your profile and think: “BAM! That’s exactly who I’m looking for.”
In this way, career progression is a lot like dating. The truer you are about who you are at your core, the better the match & long term experience.
What does all this have to do with introversion?
You’re right. Up until this point, the advice applies to both extroverts and introverts. The more work you put in to craft a strong Personal Brand, the easier it gets for senior leadership and decision makers to see you, consider you and support you on your journey.
But here’s why Personal Branding is especially important for introvert job seekers:
You need your Personal Brand to work harder for you.
What do I mean by that?
It’s a sad fact, really, that to this day, the majority of leaders and managers in the workplace have strong misconceptions about introversion. According to a study by The Hustle, some 65% of senior executives see introversion as barrier to leadership.
While some of the most brilliant business leaders out there are, in fact, introverts, common misconceptions about what introversion means does still classify those leaning towards introversion as “shy”, “people avoidant” and “not even willing to progress their career”.
This makes me roll my eyes on one hand, but on the other hand, I’m trying to be realistic about it and up front to tell you: Part of your career progression or job search will always be to help your counterpart overcome their misconception about what it means to be introvert.
That’s why it’s so important for you to position yourself against your key strengths, ambitions, values and personality traits. Once you see your introversion for how powerful it is, it becomes noticeable and tangible for others, too.
The introvert power in empathy
Let’s go back to empathy. How do we make empathy something that’s not a “nice to have” skill a Recruiter will swiftly smile at? Easy.
Empathy is the bridge that takes organizations from wanting to make bold moves and staying on top of the curve to actually making it to the other side by ensuring their associates feel seen, heard and taken seriously in the process.
Empathy is a people skill. One that honors the fact that businesses don’t work without factoring in the human experience. You can put up the most appealing power point slides with a “from-to” to showcase the direction you’re headed in. But you can only really move people through this journey by listening to their concerns and moving through their discomfort and fear of change with empathy.
It’s not a soft skill. It’s a key enabler of change & team engagement.
This is a good example for why our 1:1 program, Introvert Career Foundations, is so foundational for introverts in the workplace.
It allows you to truly understand the elements that make up your Personal Brand and how to sell them as the killer strengths they are.
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Hi there, I'm Hannah!
I’m an ambitious introvert, Brand Marketer and Career Coach who turned her quiet power into an introvert-friendly online business. I balance my busy work day with yoga, loads of coffee and long dog walks. My mission is to help fellow introverts uncover their inherent power and claim the spots they deserve.