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Networking and Job Searching for Introverts

By Jobseeker

Job search can be a daunting task, especially when you’re expected to network as an introvert.

[This comes from Ashvini Sriharan, a project manager at Humber College’s Career & Placement portal!]

The job search process can be an unfair one, giving the more social and outspoken personalities the advantage of confidently reaching out to employers and effectively showcasing their skills. But what about the few of us known to be shy, quiet, or soft-spoken? With the current job searching strategies demanding that we mass network, broadcast our expertise through social media interactions, and out-shine other candidates during the interview process, it’s hard to avoid feelings of low self-worth. We all deserve equal opportunity to access these jobs, but some of us may just need to re-strategize and re-focus our efforts. Here are some tips and resources to help you conquer the job market and how to network as an introvert:

Ashvini Sriharan

Ashvini Sriharan, Humber College project manager

Build your confidence through research

This journey starts with reminding yourself that the negative experiences of job searching and rejection only add to your personal and professional development. If you lose sight of this, it could break your confidence and self-esteem. If you feel your level of confidence is low to begin with, start off by building on how much you know.

Get to know yourself

Understand what your skills are and the values you bring to any organization hiring you. Self-assessment tools which may be available to you for free through your school, help you identify your key personality traits and skills. This also adds words to your vocabulary when answering the “Tell me about yourself” question so you can better describe yourself. When it comes to your professional background, remember that outside of your academic experience, there are other experiences that have contributed to building some of those soft skills necessary for any role, such as communication, teamwork, time management, and problem-solving. Speak to your school’s Career Services team about its self-assessment tools and building the experience on your resume.

LINK: 10 Awesome Free Career Self-assessment Tools 

Get to know the employer and job

Before going in for an interview or networking event, get to know the employers attending and the jobs being offered. Take notes and bring them with you. Use resources such as the company website, job posting, social media, and even the company page on LinkedIn, which highlights recent updates, company life or culture, and company description. This added knowledge gives you the confidence to initiate conversation and ask questions. If you know the name of the hiring manager or employer attending, look for them on LinkedIn and get to know their professional background as well.

LINK: Searching on LinkedIn 

Approach with curiosity

Once you’ve researched the company and job information available to you, write down the questions that come to mind. Why did they recently rebrand? How did they come up with their mission statement? How many accounts would this role manage?

When dealing with face-to-face interactions such as networking events or interviews, approaching the situation with curiosity helps alleviate some of the nervousness. Try to get rid of the goal of making a great first impression – which weakens the authenticity of the interaction – and focus more on actually getting to know the people, the company and the job. Professional relationships should be treated similarly to romantic relationships, in which compatibility, loyalty, and trust are expected from both parties and building long-term value is the main goal. This should ease the pressure off of your effort to network as an introvert.

Create a safe space for yourself

It’s not always to network as an introvert. If social and interview settings increase anxiety, find as many ways as you can to make yourself comfortable. Some examples: wearing your best outfit, introducing yourself on LinkedIn prior to the event, taking a printout of your portfolio to let your work do the talking, going to networking events with a trusted friend, having casual one-on-one informational interviews, or making detailed notes about the person or company to refer to.

When it comes to interviews or public speaking, a personal trick is to throw away the script and the pressure of sticking to it. This requires some confidence and knowledge of the topic you are discussing, as mentioned above. Creating a laid-back and casual space makes you and others comfortable. This will also bring out your true, authentic self, which may be a competitive advantage, helping you stand out from other candidates.

When in doubt, choose online

When you leave a networking event or interview feeling like you didn’t articulate your skills enough, write up a thank-you email reiterating what was discussed along with your qualifications. Attach work samples, resumes, your LinkedIn URL, or testimonials from people you’ve worked with to give the employer the full picture. Thank-you emails are proper networking and interview etiquette and should be sent soon after the interaction.

Professional online portfolios and social networks are key tools to showcase your work and expertise. They also work while you sleep as recruiters and hiring managers skim through LinkedIn profiles to look at the candidate’s online presence. Make sure to sign up for the next online presence or LinkedIn workshop at your campus, as they highlight important tips.

Most importantly, never doubt yourself. Today’s workspaces thrive, with both introverts and extroverts benefitting from having a diverse team. Quiet personalities are not something to be fixed. There are workarounds to help you navigate a job market built for the more outgoing. Accept challenges, get to know yourself, and drop the goal of achieving perfectionism or an ideal self. As author Susan Cain puts it, “We don’t need giant personalities to transform companies. We need leaders who build not their own egos but the institutions they run.” Refocus your networking goals to build long-term relationships and use tools such as LinkedIn to nurture and maintain those relationships. When you navigate the job search process and achieve success, remember to seek out and lend a hand to those who have not yet found their voice in a very loud job market.

new grad

FAQ From New Grads Looking For a Job

By Jobseeker

Are you a new grad looking for a job? Here are some questions I get asked the most…

If you are a student who is about to graduate, or recent alumni, the following questions may have crossed your mind, even though you may have felt afraid to ask. Many of you will complete the degree requirements without ever thinking about a career path or getting any work experience while going to school. Fear not! The tips below are meant to help you.

Jose Cabral

Jose Cabral, Ryerson University career consultant & George Brown College instructor and content designer

1 – “I do not have experience. How can I find a job aligned with what I am studying?”

The idea of experience as in applied knowledge should not be limited to that acquired in the classroom. Any experience, from volunteering to paid internship, co-op, part-time jobs will let students practice and develop skills that can be transferred to the future jobs. If one has the ability of greeting customers as a cashier, for instance, they should be able to greet coworkers in an office setting. The environment may change but, the communication and customer services skills, to name a few, can be transferred.

You can consider getting an internship after graduation by signing up with Career Edge or the Ontario Internship Program. There are many more so make sure you search and review the requirements to assess whether you qualify as a new graduate.

2 – “I have been applying online to many jobs but, no calls for interview yet.”

I can imagine how frustrating this can be. The idea of using one résumé to apply for many jobs is not the most effective method. Instead, I would suggest you read the job posting carefully, think about how you meet the qualifications and what relevant experience can demonstrate that you have used the skills in the past. A résumé of quality is always customized to the position by conveying abilities and experience as they pertain to the job, which usually helps the recruiter/hiring manager quickly assess whether the candidate qualifies and make the decision to invite the candidate for a job interview.

3 – Some of my classmates have gotten offers already and there is a lot of competition out there, how can I stand out?

One of the ideas is to write a cover letter even if not required. If you invest the time and effort to convey how your values, interests, abilities and experience connect with the role and the organization, it will certainly show the employer that you are really interested and going beyond the minimum required résumé. Keep in mind that employers do not hire solely based on qualifications but, also personality.

4 – Networking feels fake. Do I really need to do it? Urgh…

The effectiveness of recruitment channels worldwide in 2017 (Statista, 2017) showed that job boards and career sites were the least effective ways with which recruiters found candidates, whereas internal referral and social media shares were the most effective. Now, how would employees know that you are seeking opportunities if no one tells them? By conducting information interviews, or attending networking events, you can meet professionals and genuinely develop rapport with them by showing interest in what they do and the organization they are with.

Figure 1 - Effectiveness of recruitment channels worldwide in 2017, by effectiveness score.png

Figure 1 – Effectiveness of recruitment channels worldwide in 2017, by effectiveness score

5 – Do I really need a LinkedIn profile? Why?

As per the U.S. News (Fertig, 2017), about 95% of recruiters are using LinkedIn as a major sourcing tool to find candidates to present to their client companies. In order to be found, it is essential to have a complete profile. You may have an idea from the job posting regarding what keywords to have on your profile. It is also important that your headline field describe your personal brand rather than simply stating your job title, and make sure your profile is about your accomplishments in each of your jobs rather than just listing the positions you’ve held. Review LinkedIn for Students for tips to make yours an All-star profile.

Lastly, as always, I suggest you check in with your Career Consultant, Coach or Counsellor for further assistance on identifying your interests and suitable career path. Happy job search!



Fertig, A. (2017, May 5). How Headhunters Use LinkedIn to Find Talented Candidates. Retrieved from U.S. News:

Statista. (2017). Retrieved from Statista:

This week’s blog comes from Jose Cabral, a Ryerson University career consultant and George Brown College instructor and content designer!


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