Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tips for Introverts on Networking

So you're a little shy. Maybe you like to keep to yourself sometimes. You're an introvert - and that's okay!! Your skills and accomplishments are just as important as everyone else's. It also means that you, as a student or potential job-seeker, need to learn the ropes of networking!

Never fear, Career Services is here!

As an introvert myself I've learned that successful networking is beneficial to both my personal and professional goals - I've learned to be more confident and clear when explaining my past experiences and have also learned to take more initiative in setting up a networking experience. It's amazing how the more you practice, the more comfortable you are in speaking to and/or meeting with professionals!

Here are a couple tips for my introverted friends out there:

  • Remember those things called Information Interviews? They're a great way to network one-on-one with professionals who are in your current position of interest. These are less intimidating situations that can allow you to obtain great information from a professional. They can happen in-person or over the phone. A great stepping stone to other forms of networking!
  • Do your research before attending networking events or meeting with employers. If you feel more comfortable with your knowledge on the company, you'll feel better about getting up to approach professionals or other people within a networking setting.
  • Know yourself! If you're confident about your skills and abilities, talking about them with others will come a lot more naturally.
  • Practice, practice practice. Not sure about your interview skills or how you would answer certain questions that employers may ask you? Try your hand at Interview Stream to perfect responses to a variety of questions you may come into contact with.
  • Update your online profile(s). Yes - that means twitter, your blog, LinkedIn, and even facebook. Make sure your social networking sites that are meant to be private stay private, and update the rest to reflect your achievements and career goals. A lot of networking nowadays can take place online - so make sure that you maintain a professional online image.
Bottom line: Always take advantage of networking opportunities regardless of your comfort level!

Make sure to stop by Career Services if you have any questions or would like to go over some more networking strategies.

- Lia

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