Professional Job Search and Your Personality

Using your personal style to shape your search for work

There is no doubt that people tackle their professional job search in different ways. I am sure that you will have found that some of the ideas I have already suggested feel more comfortable to you than others. If you have done the quick personality quiz on this site, you will have an idea of your personal preferences and it is worth thinking about how these will affect your approach to your job search. If you have not done the quiz, why not have a go now?

Take a look at the eight different individual preferences below. Start with the ones you have identified as your own. For each one, I give an indication of the job search tactics that will work well for you and also the potential pitfalls you will need to watch out for.

Then look at the preferences that are less like you. What tips and ideas can you pick up from the way others approach their job search?

Use this as a guide

when you are planning your job search campaign. By all means start with what you feel most comfortable with, but make sure that you do not neglect the other approaches or you may miss out on some important opportunities.

If you are an Extravert…

The professional job search strengths you should build on

  • You are excellent at networking and will do it happily whenever an opportunity presents itself.
  • You are comfortable conducting informational interviews.
  • You will be ready to tell people about your job search and so will pick up useful information just through informal contacts.
  • Your broad interests mean you will have lots of different forums to network in and ideas to explore.
  • You have lots of energy and enthusiasm which keeps you going.

The job search pitfalls you should watch out for

  • You may leap into action without enough preparation.
  • You can fail to take enough time to think through your plans before putting them into action.
  • Your job search campaign may be unfocused and so you spread your efforts too widely.

If you are an Introvert…

The professional job search strengths you should build on

  • You are likely to have a small group of known contact who you are comfortable networking with.
  • You are comfortable having an in depth conversations to gain the information you need.
  • You are likely to be excellent at communicating in writing and are able to reflect on and sell yourself well in a cv.
  • Your depth of interests means you will be able to promote yourself as an expert in specialist fields.
  • You are happy to settle down and concentrate on doing detailed research.

The professional job search pitfalls you should watch out for

  • You need to engage with others in the job search and take advantage of their knowledge.
  • Be ready to push yourself to network more or may miss opportunities.
  • You may fail to put across your own abilities and accomplishments when talking to others.
  • You need to plan a positive promotional campaign and use it when networking and at interviews.

If you prefer Sensing…

The professional job search strengths you should build on

  • You are good at collecting detailed factual info about your options.
  • You will instinctively investigate ideas that build on your experience.
  • You are thorough and patient in collecting data.
  • You will follow through on all the details.
  • You will learn from experience and do more of what works.
  • You take a step by step approach to job search so don’t miss things in the process you have chosen.

The job search pitfalls you should watch out for

  • You may fail to look beyond the obvious.
  • You need to be ready to consider radically different options and to break away from the comfort of familiar experience.
  • You may rule things out if they do not relate to experience to date.
  • You can be overcautious – you need to be prepared to take a risk to break free.

If you prefer Intuition…

The professional job search strengths you should build on

  • You are great at spotting new opportunities and possibilities.
  • You can dream up completely new ideas and approaches.
  • You are naturally curious and so you will explore options widely.
  • You will be ready to try creative approaches to job search rather than sticking to the ‘right’ way.
  • You have a resourceful approach and will be energised by challenges rather than defeated.

The job search pitfalls you should watch out for

  • There is a risk of you missing important details because of your big picture perspective.
  • You need to be realistic about practicalities of job search and career change and not just be carried along by a vision.
  • You may need to be more systematic in collecting information about careers and job search.
  • Your inspired ideas need to be grounded in reality.
  • You can sometimes overlook important factual considerations about jobs.

If you prefer Thinking…

The job search strengths you should build on

  • Your career decisions will be made thoughtfully, carefully weighing up pros and cons.
  • Your job search strategies will be the ones that make sense to you and are the right way to proceed.
  • You will be realistic about the job market and about the chances of succeeding in particular fields.
  • You will want to draw up a list of specific criteria to evaluate job ideas.

The job search pitfalls you should watch out for

  • You may fail to consider the impact on others of approaches or changes you are considering.
  • You may need to consider your likes and dislikes of career ideas, not just the objective facts.
  • You sometimes fail to take full advantage of the support of others in your job search.
  • You need to consider what you really feel about your career change rather than just look at the facts of the situation.

If you prefer Feeling…

The professional job search strengths you should build on

  • You are good at building natural rapport with people, so you will often perform well at interview and when networking.
  • You have a keen awareness of how new job ideas may align with your own values.
  • You are sensitive and thoughtful when approaching others for ideas and leads.
  • You can be be good at winning people over with your diplomatic approach.

The job search pitfalls you should watch out for

  • You may need to weigh up the pros and cons of a career move objectively rather than just follow your heart.
  • You may need to learn to put your own needs first and not hesitate for fear of the impact on others.
  • You can end up staying in the ‘wrong’ job too long out of loyalty or to avoid conflict.
  • You may fail to offer concrete evidence of task achievements at interview.

If you prefer Judging…

The job search strengths you should build on

  • You carefully plan and prepare each step.
  • You take care that all the information and relevant material is to hand before applying for a job or approaching someone for help.
  • You will be patient and accurate in following company application procedures.
  • Very organised and will keep on target and meet deadlines.
  • You impress others with your methodical and organised approach.

The professional job search pitfalls you should watch out for

  • You may want to make a decision and commit as soon as possible to escape the feeling of uncertainty.
  • You need to stay open to new ideas coming in as the job search process unfolds.
  • Your approach may be too narrow and you are not always open to trying out alternatives.
  • You may be too rigid about doing things in a step by step way.
  • You can find it difficult to jump at opportunities that appear unexpectedly.
  • You may be put of your stride if things do not go to plan.

If you prefer Perceiving…

The professional job search strengths you should build on

  • You are ready and able to be flexible in your approach to meet changing circumstances.
  • You will not be hindered by obstacles but will be readily change tack to find new solutions.
  • You find the process of exploring new ideas enjoyable.
  • You trust your own resourcefulness to find alternative ideas and approaches if necessary.

The job search pitfalls you should watch out for

  • You may need to apply some self discipline to your job search so it is not just all over the place.
  • You need to set goals and targets and manage your time – or ask an organised friend to help.
  • You may need to learn to prioritise and do an action plan.
  • You may be reluctant to commit and tend to want to just do a bit more research before deciding.
  • You may need to accept that sometimes we do have to follow procedures.
  • Your approach may be a bit too casual and so can come across as not serious enough.

Do you recognise some of your own habits and personal style in these descriptions?

Make sure that you use all the preferences in your job search.

Start with the ones you feel most comfortable with. But then be prepared to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone and use some strategies you might normally avoid. If you don’t give them a try you will never know what results they could bring.

The secret to successful professional job search is to be flexible and adaptable in your approach and above all, to keep going!

Linking your personality and your career

Want to know more about how your personality type can help you to choose the right career?

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About the author

Amy Thomas

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