Ohio University Office of Career Services

Networking for Introverts by erinnunn
July 27, 2010, 8:45 am
Filed under: In the News, Job Search | Tags: ,

Everyone has heard that networking is a top priority for job leads in today’s market and there are tons of articles available on the ins and outs of networking. For introverts or people who are shy, networking may seem a bit overwhelming. After doing some digging, I found lots of articles with some helpful strategies specifically geared toward introverts. Here are my favorite five.

  1. Volunteer. Networking can take place anywhere. Volunteering for something you are passionate about allows you to work alongside people with an instant commonality and develop connections without the pressure of a scheduled network event.  Volunteer for an organization, a special project, or even for a networking event – seeing how the event runs and being a greeter or working registration is a great way to get your feet wet.
  2. Ask for introductions. Ask people you already know to introduce you to someone you’d like to meet. You’ll have a shared connection and your friend can fill in any gaps of silence that may occur.
  3. Listen. The best way to get to know someone is to ask them questions about themselves, sit back, and listen to the answers. Prepare open ended questions in advance to have tucked away as conversation starters. Asking people about the work they do, how they entered the field, what they like and find challenging, etc. is a great way to learn more about the person and possibly their organization.
  4. Make one-on one connections. Follow up with people you meet to see if they’d like to grab coffee or lunch. Or, email a few people you didn’t get the chance to meet and extend the same offer, citing the connection of the event that you both attended, your industry, or another commonality. Building a few meaningful relationships is better than meeting 100 people that you didn’t bond with at the event.
  5. Connect online. Building your online network through web sites such as LinkedIn.com is a great way to “meet” people. Join groups from your industry, comment on discussion boards to share resources and ask your friends to connect you to others online to grow your network.

Check out these links for more info!

Networking Tips for Shy People

Networking for Shy People

How Do You Become Good at Networking?


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