How Each Personality Trait Can Help You Find a Job

When you need a job and don’t have one, the stress can really mess with your head. You might worry about your future, your bills, or whether you’ll be able to find a good enough job. If your job search feels more concerned than confident, I want to remind you of a basic yet powerful asset that you have on your side: your personality. Each of your personality traits can aid your job search in unique ways, and understanding that can help ease your worries.

So take a few deep breaths and get ready to feel better about yourself and your future employment. You’re not some flawed exception to personality type theory, so trust me when I say that your personality strengths are greater than you know. I’ll highlight a helpful aspect of each trait, and you’ll see which ones correspond to your personality by matching the letters to your own type.

What’s that – you’re not sure of your personality type? Good gosh, friend! Make haste to our world-renowned personality test to learn about yourself. Now, let’s start with…

Introversion (I)

Some people think the Introverted personality trait means that you don’t enjoy socializing. But if you’re an Introvert, you know that it simply changes the way that you approach social contact, including when you’re looking for a job. You know the value of networking, so it’s not like you’re going to just hide in your room sending out job applications, right? Right. But because there are limits to your social energy, you’re tactical and thoughtful about engaging in the social aspects of your job search efforts.

Internal contemplation is an Introvert strength that helps you rehearse your moves (or even interactions and conversations) beforehand. You’ll feel more prepared to present yourself to your audience in the right way, whether encountering strangers or an existing contact. Chances are you haven’t invested in a great number of relationships, but the ones that you’ve maintained exist because they’re meaningful. Contemplation can also help you evaluate how your opportunities serve your goals and what’s realistic. That classic Introvert inward focus can be a big help in your job search when it balances your thinking and steers your energy to where it can do you the most good.

Extraversion (E)

It might seem obvious that Extraversion benefits your job search because it means that you’re more social, and that helps you network or make a good impression. But because that’s an obvious strength of your Extraverted trait, let’s look at something else: your openness to experience. As an Extravert, you’re among the personalities most likely to willingly embrace active, dynamic situations. That can benefit your job search in some key ways, not least of which is basically just appearing to be an energetic person.

Extraversion can also mean that you’re able to enter unfamiliar circumstances with relatively less hesitation, which helps in everything from a job interview to a temp or trial job position. Of course, you have worries and doubts, yet your response to stress is as likely to be “let’s do the thing” as “retreat!” The Extraverted willingness to step forward and handle (or even enjoy) external stimulation is a broad strength that you can observe, appreciate, and lean on in your job search.

Intuitive (N)

People often relate the Intuitive trait to having an active imagination, and that’s true, but another facet of being Intuitive is how you react to theoretical information, parameters, needs, and situations. You have a good ability to put unlikely pieces together in ways that make sense, forming a workable approach to seemingly complex or chaotic things. In other words, you’re good at figuring out unusual things. Stress can be a distracting hurdle in that process, but this personality trait can nonetheless aid in your job search.

One example is identifying unobvious opportunities – not every fruitful employment starts with an advertised job opening. In addition to traditional application approaches, you can make an unconventional overture. Innovation and initiative are sought-after qualities, so spotting a need, devising a way to address it, and making an offer to do so can be a great way to advertise yourself and your talents. Even if your innovation isn’t accepted outright, you’ll get noticed positively, and that can lead to other opportunities.

Observant (S)

As an Observant personality, you have not only a tendency but also an aptitude to perceive tangible realities around you. In other words, you’re relatively good at staying connected to practical priorities in any given situation. That can be a huge advantage when you’re looking for a job, because tons of possibilities may all be vying for your attention, many of them insubstantial and unhelpful. Being distracted by too much imagination is always a possibility, but you have a better chance to control it than many personality types. That can benefit your job search in surprisingly diverse ways.

For example, some people put way too much energy into interpreting what’s been said. They subject conversations to complex filters and end up hearing their version of what’s meant. People like to feel accurately heard and get frustrated when they aren’t. You avoid that by embracing clear, uncomplicated communication. Your Observant personality trait can also help keep you anchored to the moment rather than looking into the future and trying to juggle infinite what-ifs. That’s a big advantage when the moment is pivotal, like when you’re talking to recruiters or interviewers.

Thinking (T)

There’s a certain innate affinity for rational detachment that comes with the Thinking trait, and this can present several benefits when you’re seeking employment. For one thing, it may help you get some breathing room from your emotions and make logical decisions amid stress. You’ll need to find healthy ways to explore and process your feelings, but being able to choose when and where to do so can help you function effectively during challenging times – like a job search.

Externally, your Thinking trait may also lend to a visible mindset that appeals to potential employers. Facts, figures, and rational analysis are only part of what makes for success in any job (more in some, less in others). But as far as signaling capability, you could do a lot worse than a tendency toward dispassionate, objective thought. If your Thinking trait helps you connect with the intellectual side of any job or field, that can also help you evaluate it and spot opportunities.

Feeling (F)

The obvious benefit of the Feeling trait is so helpful that it’s hard to ignore: empathy. While being too effusive or familiar may not always be an advantage in your job search, your ability to understand people’s emotional states almost certainly is. Empathy helps you tune your approach to everything from networking to interviews to meeting new coworkers. Your Feeling trait helps you express yourself and form meaningful working relationships with others, but it’s also a tactical advantage.

Think of it as emotional radar: you can read people and use that information to your advantage without being cynical or manipulative. How you present yourself may depend on the situation and people involved. You can be cool and professional when it’s called for or warm and friendly when it’s appropriate. Your Feeling personality trait lends itself to wise human perception, and that in turn serves you in your job search by making your interpersonal exchanges more successful.

Judging (J)

One positive behavior associated with the Judging personality trait is precision. Mistakes on your résumé? Late to an interview? Skipped some evaluation instructions? Not as likely for you as for many personalities. It takes more than attention to detail to bring success, but by golly, it’s a pretty helpful thing. Not all details matter, but the Judging trait helps you see the ones that do. Precision is a personality facet that’s not always easy to demonstrate until you’ve landed a job, though, so finding ways to show this virtue while job searching is a good idea.

Precision can help you organize your résumé clearly and tell a coherent story about yourself during an interview. That helps people learn about you and what you bring to the job. You can offer impressive accuracy and relevance – but not necessarily length and complexity – in your conversations and materials. It also bears saying that there’s a difference between precision and narrowness. Interpreting things accurately includes astutely filling in blanks when necessary, not being overly literal or detail obsessed. With the right balance, your Judging trait is a great asset in your job search.

Prospecting (P)

Being a Prospecting personality type can aid your professional life in notable ways, not least of which is your relative comfort adapting to the unexpected. Yes, surprises can still be scary, but you’re likely to recover and advance yourself while many personality types are still struggling to handle the sudden change. The working world isn’t always kind or predictable, and your Prospecting trait can help you handle that – including when you’re seeking a job.

One major example is your ability to embrace opportunities with relatively little delay. Sometimes, time is of the essence, and taking too long to decide or prepare for something can cause you to miss out on it. Whether it’s a surprise offer, a happenstance meeting about a job prospect, or questions designed to shake you up during an interview, your Prospecting adaptability will aid your job search in very real ways. Think of yourself as a dancer who doesn’t have to follow a set routine to achieve something artful.

Assertive (A)

Any personality type stands to benefit from their Assertive Identity trait when it comes to looking for employment. Overall, you’re less likely than many personalities to be overwhelmed by stress and better able to maintain an even emotional keel. Do I even need to say why that’s good? But let’s consider a more granular potential benefit of the Assertive trait in the context of job-seeking: undauntedness.

When looking for a job, rejections and dead ends are commonplace, but your Assertive trait can help you continue on despite closed doors. More importantly, it can make you persistent about reopening them – or sticking your foot in to keep them open in the first place. Helpful boldness requires a certain degree of disregard, because it’s hard to be persistent if you’re too worried about how people might perceive you. Your Assertive trait helps you set aside such sensitivities when needed and insist on accessing opportunities.

Turbulent (T)

The need for money can be pretty good motivation to find a job, but for personalities with a Turbulent Identity, there’s usually more at stake. Part of the way you handle worry, insecurity, and doubt is proving yourself through accomplishment. The Turbulent trait can be a great source of motivation, always making you want things to be better and always trying to do better as a person. That internal restlessness can have some helpful yet seemingly contrasting effects in your job search.

For example, Turbulence can create a sense of urgency that leads to sensible compromises – you’ll be open to diverse employment opportunities. That can be a very good thing, because your compatibility with any job can’t be fully known until you try it, and you may end up in an unexpectedly satisfying situation. On the other hand, if you don’t like your job, your Turbulence won’t let you abide it for long – you’re unlikely to tolerate circumstances that don’t work for you and will be motivated to find a better option.

Secret Abilities within Your Personality Type

Okay, so you’ve probably read the five sections above that match the letters in your personality type. I hope you’ve found them inspiring and useful – these qualities are likely to be strong in your personality type. But did you know that you have hidden advantages as well? One of the coolest things about our personality test is that it measures your personality as a spectrum with percentages, giving you more accurate insight. So you might be an Introvert (say, 75% Introverted), but you’ve got a smidge of Extraverted qualities in the mix (the other 25%).

Your personality traits characterize your typical behavior, but there are moments when those minority percentages kick in – perhaps during stressful or atypical circumstances like, for example, when you’re trying to find a job. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself momentarily flipping into modes and personas that aren’t as likely for your personality type. In other words, you may occasionally show any of the strengths mentioned above, and that’s something to embrace. Stress and pressure can be unpleasant, but sometimes they reveal your hidden abilities.

Further Reading