I was asked recently to comment on networking tips for the shy job seeker.
It’s hard enough to put yourself out there and display your best traits in hopes of an interview.
Think about it: job hunting means being on your best behavior, which generally isn’t all that hard, but knowing that your behavior is being judged and examined just adds layers and layers of stress.
A little nerve-wracking, right?
Imagine all this being heaped onto someone who is shyer or reserved by nature.
Job hunting, networking, and interviewing can feel a hundred times worse than it is when you’re more on the quiet side.
The idea, after all, is to talk about yourself.
And talking about/marketing/advertising yourself as a promising employee can be tricky for some.
So, I decided to share my thoughts on the shy job seeker in the networking world with you.
I had the opportunity to speak at several local job-seeking type organizations in Fresno, CA.
What I heard the most when talking with them is seekers hesitate to get out of their comfort zone.
Bragging about yourself can be easy.
But bragging about yourself with skill in the context of job-seeking and networking is a challenge.
So, I challenge the shy job seeker with the question:
“Do you want comfort or a job?”
My first tip for the shy job seeker
One of the best things any serious job seeker can do is prepare their responses to potential questions.
Some job seekers may think this applies for only official interviews.
Not the case.
In social networking situations, just about every interaction can be considered an interview of sorts.
In these situations, you are showing potential employers your professional best.
Your demeanor and presence answer employers’ questions like:
- What kind of personality does this person have?
- Does this person interact well with others?
- Can this person voice their thoughts effectively?
A lot of pressure, right?
Luckily you can alleviate some of this pressure by anticipating key questions and deciding what you want to learn about different companies.
For the shy job seeker, this is a very crucial tool.
Which brings us back to the question:
“Do you want comfort or a job?”
It’s very important you not let your shy or reserved tendencies make you too picky.
But it’s also important that you’re capable of being comfortable in the potential job environment you’ll be in most of your day.
Create a description of your ideal employer.
This way when you get out of your comfort zone and into a networking situation, you can quickly share your ideal employer story with whomever you’re speaking with.
I encourage you to go to as many networking events, groups, and organizations as possible and share who you are, why you are there, and what you want to find.
Of course, this takes a bit of time to prepare, practice, and deliver.
My best tip for the shy job seeker
One apparent weakness shy and reserved job seekers have is they usually don’t want to talk about themselves.
It can feel strange to try and convince a hiring manager or employer why you would be good for a job.
The funny thing is, this isn’t really a weakness.
Hear me out.
Prepare a few killer questions to ask an employer or hiring manager when meeting them for the first time so that the other person does all the talking.
You’ll learn more about the job and you’ll make a good impression with the employer or hiring manager.
You’ll be seen as:
- A good listener
- Someone who knows how to ask the right questions
- A team player who can listen and learn
All the shy job seeker has to do is ask the next question.
Here are the top five questions I think they should ask because it will give the job seeker an insight into whom else they may know.
Top 5 questions
- What company are you with?
- How long have you been in your current position?
- Who do you serve (ideal client)?
- Do you know of any job openings in the (insert job seekers ideal position) industry?
- Is there anyone here that you could introduce me to who might know of any job openings in the (insert job seekers ideal position) industry?
In general, people like helping people, and business people seem to know where the jobs are.
If you have a friend that is currently looking for work – please feel free to share this article.
For online networking tips, check out LinkedIn Networking Tips For Job Seekers!
Preparing for an interview
Like I said, one of the best things you can do is prepare for potential questions.
One source you can utilize is our 50 Top Job Interview Questions and Answers.
You don’t need a scheduled interview as an excuse to check it out.
Many of these questions have the potential of popping up in conversation while networking.
Whether you are shy or outgoing, the best thing you can do for yourself is to anticipate questions and prepare for them!
Need some help?
If you still need some extra help preparing for your next big interview, reach out to us at Find My Profession.
Our career coaching service will help you successfully navigate your job search.
Our goal is to help you find vocational success.