For job seekers that are looking to gain an edge over their competition, there are very few strategies as effective as networking among your friends, industry peers and community figureheads. Unfortunately, for those with introverted, shy or quiet personalities, this is a task that is wrought with stress, anxiety and even downright fear. If this describes your personality, you may be able to benefit from a few quick tips and tricks meant to lessen such worries and facilitate a more efficient, more successful networking experience. Most of the tips described below can be used when networking face-to-face and on today’s most popular social networking websites.
If you find it hard to strike up a conversation with other people, consider asking specific or targeted questions. Not only does this demonstrate the desire to learn and understand on your behalf, but it could even open up the opportunity for an in-depth discussion.
Conversely, don’t be afraid to answer any questions that are asked of you. This is something that many introverted personalities find difficult, but speaking up when spoken to is crucial to making your presence known. If necessary, prepare some generic answers beforehand. While you won’t be able to cover every possible question that could be asked, you’ll at least have a solid foundation to call upon when asked for your specific input.
Create a Portfolio for Tradeshows
Tradeshows and industry-specific special events are all about connecting individuals with peers, role models, partners and even new employers. While such events provide outstanding environments for face-to-face networking as well as the potential for new business opportunities, those with introverted personalities may find tradeshows and conferences more of an obstacle rather than a stepping stone.
If you are an individual who has a difficult time with this level of face-to-face interaction, you may want to consider building a professional portfolio. This could be something as simple as a basic resume or even a bundle of documents that showcase your past achievements. Not only does this take the emphasis away from verbal communication, but it still allows you to make your presence known at industry tradeshows, conferences and other events.
Find a Tradeshow Partner
Regardless of your personality, attending a tradeshow or conference solo can be a difficult endeavor for some people. If this is the case, don’t hesitate to pair yourself up with a partner, ideally a well-known friend, who is willing to attend such events with you. Not only will this bolster your confidence and comfort level while at the show, but a tradeshow partner can even serve as a springboard for ideas, strategies and tactics for landing that dream job of yours. Moreover, a trusted partner can even help ensure long-term motivation and determination.
Take Advantage of Social Networking
Online social networking provides a great venue, particularly those with quiet or introverted personalities, for strengthening your presence within your area of expertise. Although some social media sites do provide the option for teleconferencing and remote, webcam-based meetings, you’re under no obligation to use any of these features.
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