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**I am a member of the Career Collective, a group of resume writers and career coaches.  Each month, all members discuss a certain topic.  This month, we are talking about networking and job search whether  you are introverted or extroverted. Please follow our tweets on Twitter #careercollective.  You can also view the other member’s interesting posts at the end of the article.

The old adage ‘the grass is always greener on the other side,’ fits many situations. Today, it is especially relevant to job seekers. In the world of the job hunt, two personality types often emerge, each with strengths and weaknesses. Extroverts and introverts alike often find themselves wishing they were exactly opposite of themselves. The truth is that understanding how to craft a resume and how to interview, utilizing the strengths or weaknesses of either an introvert or an extrovert, can mean success in the form of a new job. I think I border both, because in ‘new’ situations I tend to either get quiet or talk more than I would like to. Both can be bad, or good, depending on how you look at it. Which are you?

By determining which you are, introverted or extroverted, and by understanding the strengths and weakness of your personality type, you can begin a successful job search with your resume. If you are most comfortable alone, or in smaller settings and find it difficult to express yourself verbally, you are most likely an introvert.

Those that are social enjoy crowds and talking is typically considered extroverted behavior. You might mistakenly assume that extroverts always interview well while introverts present above par resumes. The truth is actually somewhere in the middle.

The Resume

Both personality types are urged to remember the purpose of a resume. It should be a clear, precise representation of a candidates experience and related skill sets. While introverts, very good at introspection, may have an easier time paring down their resume, they often make the mistake of providing too little information. Extroverts tend to be more inclusive in their resume attempts, but often provide too much information. When writing or updating a resume, both personality types should focus on the format of the resume, including relevant details and facts about themselves and removing any unneeded information.

The Interview

Extroverts, who love to talk, often quickly settle into an interview. Introverts, often find themselves ill at ease and uncomfortable. Unlike the extrovert, the introvert is unlikely to engage the interviewer himself or herself. While it sounds like the extrovert wins the interview round, both personality types need to make adjustment to their interview style in order to be successful. Extroverts need to remember to keep their answers short and to the point, while introverts must allow themselves to be drawn out during the interview process.

In general, the both introverts and extroverts should follow the same guidelines when preparing a resume or interviewing. Resumes should be in the correct format and provide information relevant to the job position. When it comes time to interview, candidates of both types should have had a good nights sleep and should be prepared. It is a good idea to bring a list of questions for the interviewer. Practicing short, informative answers to typically asked questions can be helpful as well.

Always remember that both personality types have strengths and weaknesses and learning to play on these is the best way to be successful in your job hunt. Introverts should take advantage of their inquisitive and analytical nature while extroverts should use their ability to fit into any social situation. By carefully balancing these strengths against their weaknesses, either personality type can be successful. Good luck!


Don’t forget to check out other similar articles from members of the Career Collective:

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    The current state of the economy and the job market has made it almost impossible to find a job. If you want to be one of the “chosen” to land an interview, you must be at the top of your game. No longer is it enough to simply appear at an interview dressed in a suit and armed with a positive attitude. Today’s candidates must be thoroughly prepared for each interview they attend. An important component of that preparation is knowing the ten things you should always bring with you to an interview.

    1. Five copies of your resume – even if you have submitted your resume electronically, it is still important to bring along hard copies. In many cases, candidates will find themselves interviewed by multiple managers, so it is always important to have enough resumes to go around.
    2. Professional references – be sure to bring a list of 3-5 professional references. Include each reference’s contact information including email address as well as the capacity by which they know you.
    3. Personal references – more and more companies are turning to personal references to round out the interview process, so bring a list of personal references as well. Phone numbers, email address and relationship should be carefully noted for each reference.
    4. Work History – keep a list of your previous employers including physical address, phone number, employment dates and manager names. Being unable to provide this information is unprofessional and may raise an eyebrow or two.
    5. Education – bring a list of each school you attended, the address and the degree, or program studied.
    6. Skills – As technology continues to evolve, many potential employers are interested in what programs candidates have mastered. You should also include any specialized skills or equipment you can operate
    7. Questions – almost all hiring managers will end the interview by asking if the candidate has any questions – prepare a list in advance. It is a great idea to do this by carefully reviewing the company website. The questions should be thought provoking and relevant.
    8. Documentation – Bring along any professional certifications as well as a valid driver’s license and social security card. In the event that the position is immediately offered to you, you will have all of the information needed with you.
    9. Samples – Many jobs require a candidate to provide samples of their work. Be sure to bring along representations of your best work. This applies to almost all jobs. For example, an architect may bring along samples of their designs while a teacher might bring lesson plans or an example of a teaching plan.
    10. Attitude – never underestimate the power of your attitude – remember you are selling yourself, so it is crucial you come prepared to do just that. Be well rested and eat shortly before your interview.

    Being adequately prepared for an interview is the first step towards has a successful session. Be sure to prepare your interview items in advance so you are not rushing around trying to locate everything right before your interview.

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    Almost everyone is faced with the prospect of leaving their job at some point. Whether you have decided to move, change fields, accepted a better offer, or just wanted to quit, the very idea of offering your ‘two weeks’ notice’ can drive fear into the most forthright employee. Even worse, many employees do not know the various options they have for leaving a job – especially when you leave for another, more lucrative, position. Deciding how much notice you should give when leaving a job is anything but easy.

    Before even considering the alternative options available for leaving a job, you must first perform your due diligence. In some cases, an employment contract may exist which specifically details the conditions under which you are allowed to leave your position. These terms must be followed exactly. This information is typically easy to find. If you did not retain a copy of your employment agreement yourself and do not wish to tip off your employer that you may be leaving, you are entitled to a review of your employment file and can easily locate the information.

    Next, you must consider the nature of your job. Those in unique positions that may be hard to fill or those in management positions may need to consider giving some additional notice. In some instances it can be helpful to discuss your move with a manager to determine what their expectations are. The general rule of thumb is two weeks and most employees tend to stick with these guidelines.

    Unfortunately, in some cases it may be necessary to leave with less than the typical two week notice. This is especially true when an employee that is leaving to pursue another position which they need to start soon. While an employee has the ability to leave their current job immediately, unless otherwise prohibited, it is often not suggested. When determining how quickly you can leave your current position, always remember the old adage: Don’t burn your bridges. In the employment world, many times specific industries are very small and it is easy to get a bad reputation – especially if you leave a position with little or no warning to your employers.

    Or, in other cases, the employer may ask you to leave immediately. This happened to me. Twice. In both cases, the reasons had to do with the competition and clients (even though I wasn’t going to a competitor either time).  When that happens, you have no choice but to leave. I didn’t mind. That meant some much needed time off before the next job.

    Like many facets of employment, how you handle your departure from a current position says a lot about you as a person. By handling an exit with grace and professionalism, you can easily begin to establish yourself as an employee with integrity. It is important to handle every aspect of your departure in a professional manner. From letters of resignation to the goodbye lunch, behaving in a professional way will make you stand out.

    Knowing how much time to give your current employer is a complex issue. It is one that is best handled by following the guidelines set forth in your employment contract. If one does not exist, be sure to approach the issue professionally and to work as closely as possible to ensure a smooth transition.

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    The world is moving faster than ever. In fact, it often seems like everything about our lives is changing – sometimes on a daily basis. From online shopping to cellular phones that access the internet, technology has often driven the changes we see. Our work place is no different. Once it was expected that a 9 – 5 job was just that. Today employers have the ability to offer their staff a variety of work methods. Telecommuting is particularly popular. Less well known is the idea of flex time. While not as many employers offer flex time, those that do believe it allows their work staff to be more productive. Learning about work options should be an important part of every candidate’s research and decisions making process when looking for and interviewing for a new position.

    I love the idea of flex time. When I was around 10, my mom went back to work. She was offered flex time. It went like this: she worked Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning, and Pat worked Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday. It was perfect. They both worked hard those 2 1/2 days to make sure their work was done. Their bosses never once complained, in fact the opposite. You couldn’t find harder workers. It gave both women time with their children and families while earning a little extra income. Awesome. Why don’t more employers offer it? I decided to do a little more research on it to find out.

    The idea of flex time isn’t that new. Employees are offered the ability to create a schedule that works for their particular needs. The employer typically publishes a set of guidelines and then works directly with an employee to pick a flexible schedule that will allow the necessary work to take place in a timely manner while still allow the employee to be flexible. This concept has worked particularly well for working mothers or employees with unique family obligations. For example, an employee with a school age child may wish to adjust their hours in order to be home when their child arrives back from school. They may request a flexible schedule of 6 am – 2 pm. The employee will still work a full 40 hour week but will have the ability to address the needs of their child.

    Typically both the employer and the employee see flex time as beneficial. Employers tend to see a higher rate of productivity in their employees; after all happy employees are productive employees. Additionally, the absentee rate typically drops as employees schedule allows them to focus their work time on work and their off hour time on other pursuits, such as family. They also note that the ability to work during off peak hours often gives them quiet time that can be used to focus on larger projects without the worry of customers or coworkers bothering them.

    Deciding to ask for flex time is very much a personal decision. Anybody considering the move should first determine if their company is even open to the idea. Try approaching your manager about your particular needs–it might be the next step in creating a flexible schedule. Whenever possible this discussion should take place during the hiring process to prevent conflicts.

    Flex time can be an excellent tool to keep employees happy, healthy and productive. It can also help manage that all too often forgotten balance between home and work life. If you are interested in the idea of flexible scheduling, don’t be afraid to ask. A clearly presented explanation of your request and the ability to work within the guidelines of your company often go a long way.

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    It may be true that getting an interview is half the battle, but what about the interview itself? Nerves can often overwhelm you when you are placed in the position of interviewing for a long sought after job. Learning to control your nervous habits, tics or even a stutter is one of the most important job seeking skills you should master.

    It is important to consider the psychology behind nerves during an interview. Often, so much seems to ride on an interview. Desperation for a job or simple longing for a change can make an interview seem like a life or death situation. Sit back, take a deep breath and recognize that it is nothing more than a simple conversation about who you are as a potential employee. No matter how desperate your work situation is, an interview is nothing more than a chance to sell yourself. If you interview poorly, the sun will still rise the next day. By removing some of the pressure a typical interview can generate, you will already begin to realize that some of your nervousness is dissipating.

    Preparation comes next. The more prepared you are for an interview, the easier it will be for you. From dress and grooming to a careful review of the company website, preparing for an interview should be done precisely. Leave nothing to chance. Collect your interview attire several days in advance and carefully review it. Have a backup suit prepared as well. Make several copies of your resume and portfolio, if needed, and have them ready. Stow a copy in your briefcase and one in your trunk. Remove all of the potential headaches the interview day may bring. If you don’t have to rush about searching for your tie or your other shoe, you are more likely to arrive at the interview with all your nerves and wits about you.

    Common sense plays a role here as well. Be sure to get a good night’s rest the night before, no matter how hard it is to sleep. Eat a well balanced meal an hour or so before the interview and take several practice drives to the interview locations. Being well rested, fed and knowing exactly where you are going is a giant step in the right direction.

    If you suffer from a particular nervous tick, like sweating under pressure, prepare for that as well. Practice relaxation exercises that can be performed in the waiting room or place tissue in your pocket for wiping your hands with. Try to counter each nervous tick to remain calm.
    Those that suffer from a stutter have it a bit harder, but even still there are things that can be done to make the interview go more smoothly. Practice saying common words and phrases that are likely to come up during the interview. Carefully note letter or sound combinations that cause you difficulty and find alternatives before the interview so you can use them instead of the words that give you difficulty.
    Confidence plays a major role in landing a job. Don’t let your nerves get the best of you. Relax, breathe and be yourself. You’ll do great!

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    When searching for a job, it is important to have prepared a well-written, professional looking resume that best displays your most significant qualifications, attributes, and characteristics that make you stand out to your prospective employer. You want the reader of your resume to be impressed and believe that their company needs someone like you for the position. Your resume is essentially your very first impression, so it should reflect you in a way that leaves a lasting effect on the person considering you for employment.

    A typical resume is a one to two page document typed up and listing such things as educational background, objective or career goal, qualifications and skills, and past experience and employment. However, with the way technology is growing and changing, people are beginning to turn to the idea of using virtual resumes; that is, resumes posted online for employers to view. Times are changing, and more pieces of information that were once typed or hand-written are now being displayed on websites and other formats.

    So, without further ado, let me introduce you to my new favorite resume tool, the VisualCV. Visual CVs are online website portfolios created by prospective employees and candidates wishing to display all there is to know about them to prospective employers. They are far more than the typical one-page resume, and can include a variety of unique features.

    While traditional resumes must be saved as a certain format and attached to an email or uploaded to send, you can simply send the web address of your VisualCV to be viewed by anyone you wish. There are virtually no limits to what you can add to your page. You can add audio or video of yourself, perhaps describing yourself and your characteristics and qualifications. You can also add graphs and links highlighting certain achievements you’ve accomplished, or anything else you wish to showcase. The actual layout of your page has the look of a traditional resume, but with one side displaying high-tech add-ons to give your presentation a professional and new sort of flair. You can add presentations and even YouTube video’s. If you are at a business lunch and someone asks you for your resume, you can simply give them the URL of your VisualCV and they can pull it up right there on their PDA!

    Are VisualCVs a good idea? Many are torn on the issue. It can add a bit of a competitive edge to your resume, showing your prospective employer a unique flair and determination, something new that they maybe haven’t seen before. It can bring you and your skills to life in what can be called a 21st century virtual show and tell. It can also be useful in controlling who sees it and where you post it, as you can post the link to your Visual CV to job search websites or directly in emails, and it can be updated and edited easily with the touch of a button. However, some argue that VisualCVs aren’t such a great idea. For one, it’s typically common that employers will take less than a minute or two to first scan resumes to weed out the ones they aren’t interested in; therefore, it can be unlikely that they’ll take the time to actually watch your videos or look at your graphs. Also, speaking in front of a camera can make more of a negative impression than a positive, especially if you aren’t well-versed in public speaking.

    Whether or not you choose to use a VisualCV is up to you, but it can be a positive idea if used correctly. If you don’t have enough material or the skill to make it worth someone’s while, then a traditional resume is probably for you.

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