If you're an introvert, probably nothing would please you more than having someone else promote you in the job search process. (Actually, many extroverts would welcome that, too.)
Recruiters and staffing companies can serve that purpose, connecting you with jobs that you qualify for and presenting you to employers.
Pat Meehan, principal of The Meehan Group, offers some tips for introverts to get a recruiter's attention.
He recommends sending a detailed cover letter that provides comprehensive information that will introduce the recruiter to you and your circumstances.
The letter introduces you, the kind of work you're looking for, why you're in transition, your target salary range (this is the exception to the usual advice about not discussing salary), whether you're available to relocate, and geographic preferences.
This makes it easier for the recruiter to call you because he or she will already have a preliminary understanding of your situation.
Pat further suggests that introverts follow up with a phone call and leave a message that reiterates, briefly, those details and expresses an interest in talking.
A growing number of companies are hiring people as temporary or temp-to-perm* workers, on a "try-before-you-buy" basis before bringing a candidate on board as a regular employee.
Temp and short-term contract opportunities exist in all fields and at all levels, and many staffing companies can connect you with these.
For the introvert, these opportunities enable you to prove yourself on the job by allowing your work to speak for you. And, of course, you also get to "try" the company out, too, without any long-term commitment until you know whether the job and the company are a good fit.
Keep in mind that recruiters don't actually work for you - that is, they are paid by companies to fill positions.
If you match the specifications they're looking for, they'll be interested in helping you because they stand to earn a commission if they place you. You'll both be working toward the same goal, and you'll be on the same team.
But remember that the employer pays the commission. If you're not a good fit, recruiters don't get paid to try to uncover possibilities that do match.
When you speak with a recruiter for the first time, find out if he or she belongs to recruiter networks and will try to connect you to others who might have opportunities that are a better fit.
Wendy Gelberg is a Career Navigator at JVS CareerSolution in Boston and author of The Successful Introvert: How to Enhance Your Job Search and Advance Your Career. She is a certified career coach and resume writer whose expertise is in helping people who are uncomfortable "tooting their own horn." Wendy writes resumes, gives workshops, coaches individuals, and writes articles and blogs on all aspects of the job search process. Samples of her resumes and career advice appear in over 20 books. Wendy has been a career coach and resume writer for over 15 years. She has been an introvert her whole life. Contact Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org.