An Introvert’s Guide to Networking
Networking is crucial for landing the job you want! It’s okay to be shy or reserved, but it never hurts to be aggressive during a job search. You can look for jobs through web searches or in the classifieds, but many job openings never even make it that far. Some positions are just spread by word of mouth, so if you don’t have the right connections, you’ll never hear about them. Here are some tips for networking when you don’t want to.
Blast out some emails
Email everyone you know and request job leads! Even in these uncertain times, everyone probably knows someone who’s hiring. Let them know what kind of job you’re looking for and in what area of the country. If you’re open to relocating, let them know that as well. Every few weeks, send out another round of emails—even if people don’t know of any leads at first, it helps to have your name fresh in their heads in case they hear of something. Thank people who help you and provide them with updates as you go through interviews.
Connect on LinkedIn
Send out invitations to connect with friends, acquaintances, and old colleagues on LinkedIn. Add a quick note to let them know what your job interests are. Be specific enough so they understand what your industry is, but vague enough that they won’t rule out leads that are related but not perfect fits. Make sure you check the box under “share an update” that indicates you’re seeking leads.
Check in with friends who are unemployed
Connect with other jobseekers! Meet for lunch or coffee and compare stories and experiences. You can share leads, give advice, and cheer each other on. A little encouragement or a boost to your confidence can’t hurt. Plus, people are more likely to help you if you’ll help them. Pay it forward!
Hit up some networking events
It’s probably tough to do during COVID times, but sooner or later it has to go away, right? And when it does, we’ll surely see the return of free or low-cost networking events in your area that you can take advantage of. Try searching for them at your library, online, or by joining professional groups on LinkedIn or Facebook. When you go, set a reasonable goal for yourself. Aim to chat up a certain number of people or distribute a certain number of your business cards. That way, you’ll force yourself to stay until you hit that goal, and after you reach it, who knows? Maybe you’ll find that you’re enjoying yourself or the momentum is behind you and you’ll stay a little longer. After the event, be sure to follow-up with people who might be helpful to you with a phone call or email. If appropriate, set up a lunch or coffee date. The more people you connect yourself with the more opportunities you’ll hear about!
Pursue a volunteer opportunity
Volunteering is always a great activity when you’re looking for a job. Not only can you develop some transferrable skills and add some filler to your resume, you’ll also meet active, engaged people who might be able to connect you with additional opportunities.
For more tips on using your network to help you line up your next job opportunity, check out our website at https://www.chiefofstaffkc.com.
Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh