Networking Tips for Introverts

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Does the idea of cold-calling make you break out in a cold sweat? Does the hum of a dentist’s drill seem more appealing than the sea of noise at a networking event? If you are part of the 40% of our population who consider themselves an introvert, you may not be comfortable putting yourself out there during your job search. Luckily, networking is not just for the extrovert. Here are three tips that will help introverts find their next job:

Utilize Your (Close) Network

Most people think of networking as large events with lots of people and even more small talk. While networking events are a great way to increase your chances of finding a job, introverts may find the idea of utilizing people they’ve never meet hard to handle. Referrals make up nearly half of all new hires, so alerting your friends and family members of your job search is an important first step. Talk to friends and family members about opportunities. Ask if they can help you make valuable connections. Use LinkedIn to its fullest extent during your search. Update your profile, turn on features that show you are currently looking, and don’t hesitate to post on your other social media sites that you are on the lookout for a new job. This way you can reach your “social media friends” that you may not communicate with regularly.

Take Advantages of the Opportunities Around You

Job boards may seem like an introvert’s best friend, especially considering that there seems to be an endless supply of jobs you can apply to from the comfort of your own home. However, 80% of jobs are never advertised through job boards, so unless you want to miss out on a majority of the opportunities, you need to branch out to find what is out there. While utilizing your network is a good start, consider how to find the hidden opportunities in the job market. If you are a college student or alumni, reach out to the career center to see what they can offer. If you belong to an organization or group, see if any opportunities are available through them. Finally, while it may not be an introvert’s first choice, staffing companies can be a valuable ally with built-in connections that can help surface opportunities for you quickly.

Consider Small Networking Events

We’ve established some good ways for introverts to find job opportunities, but you can also find some smaller, low-key networking events that more closely represent the kind of opportunities you’re search for. These events will be less crowded, and quieter, creating a more comfortable networking environment for those who consider themselves introverts. Consider meet-ups with other job seekers, and companies that are taking a more personalized approach to hiring. Also, consider company-specific jobs fairs where they’re hiring for specific types of jobs. This way you come in with a predetermined goal in mind and you don’t have to worry about making small talk with multiple employers.

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