Perhaps this ideology is unique to me, but before going into a job interview or meeting with a potential employer, I used to prepare myself to present “the ideal employee” (as if there is one formula we job seekers all need to follow). I would make a mental note to smile, engage in small talk on the walk to the interview room, present a charismatic and outgoing personality, muster up my gregariousness, and prepare to bask in the spotlight of talking about myself. Sometimes it would feel fine, but other times, it would feel completely forced. But employers want extroverted employees, right?
On a whole other level, what about my video resume? If I’m an introvert, should I try to put on the façade of an extrovert for my video resume? Or not make a video resume at all to hide my less-than-outgoing personality?
According to an article by Kaitlin Louie, new findings show that introverts may have a more influential and significant role in the workplace than they (or others!) might realize. Yes, it is true that extroverts often initially appear much more impressive to employers than introverts. But over time, it appears that extroverts may actually disappoint employers. Many of them can nail a sales pitch promoting themselves, but when it comes time to actually take on the job’s responsibilities, it sometimes happens to be that their performances can’t meet the expectations set forth by their amazing sell. (This is not to say that this happens to all extroverts.)
Introverts, on the other hand, usually don’t talk themselves up to the extent that their extroverted peers do. When given a chance in the workplace, then, they often exceed expectations. In addition, employers often find that they are better listeners and team players than their extroverted peers. Sometimes they also have a more analytical and detail-oriented nature.
While introverts may have strengths that extroverts don’t have, this does not mean that it is more favorable to be an introvert. Both extroverts and introverts have strengths to contribute to a workplace. In fact, an ideal workplace will most likely include both personalities. Extroverts will often excel at the tasks that require an attractive and charismatic personality in the face of customers, while introverts may excel at the behind-the-scenes tasks. The key to being successful in your job search lies in understanding what strengths your personality will gift you with. From there, you need to present these strengths to an employer to make yourself stand out.
So to go back to the original question, no, there is no need to worry if you are an introvert. As an introvert, you have unique and valuable strengths that an extrovert may not be able to offer (and vice versa!). In preparing for an interview or a video resume pitch, perhaps prepare by reflecting on your unique skills rather than trying to force yourself to wear the mask of what you suspect an employer’s ideal candidate acts like. You’ll be in a much better position to intelligently speak about and present these strengths—given that they are actually your own instead of ones that you are trying to fake having.
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