Networking and Interview Tips from a Natural Born Introvert
Meeting new people in your field or interviewing for a new job can be stressful for everyone, especially introverts like myself. Gaining comfort with introducing yourself to a large group of people such as a club, prepares you for an interview where you are usually only meeting a couple of recruiters. Lucky for us college students now, technology provides us with excellent ways to present ourselves professionally and network with peers or recruiters virtually. First impressions are crucial to the networking and interviewing process, but with a few helpful tips, you will thrive whether you are originally an introvert or extrovert.
Social Media Branding
Nowadays online platforms such as LinkedIn are often the beginning of first impressions for professional relationships. Personal branding is crucial to create a consistent and qualifying image that will impress potential employers. LinkedIn is widely used by hiring managers to vet candidates’ experience, which is why it is very important to expand past your resume. Utilizing functions on LinkedIn, such as honors/awards or volunteer work can allow you to demonstrate your character beyond your resume and provide further insight to employers.
The most important aspect of building your LinkedIn account is the About Me section, in which you can summarize your current activities, interests, and goals relevant to your career path. Aside from professional media platforms, it is also important to maintain a consistent image across other social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
As a college student, the first place to begin in-person networking is in your classes. From there you can meet people in different clubs or organizations. Joining a club is a great way to build your network, participate in something you are passionate about, and add to your resume. Many colleges have networking events for different departments that allow students to meet and converse with professionals in that field. One tip for success at formal networking events is to have a QR code on a mobile device that links to your LinkedIn profile, so you can continue the conversation and leverage that connection. Open-mindedness is key when meeting with new people, any connection, regardless of how small, could have a positive impact on a future job opportunity.
After social media branding and networking, interviewing is the next step in proving yourself as the perfect candidate for a position. The resume you submit for each job application should be tailored to the said job description. For example, if the job requires organization, time management, and teamwork skills, those should be the skills you highlight on your resume. The most common interview question is “tell me about yourself”, so having a pitch prepared that blends your past experience, present ventures, and future goals is a great tip for a successful interview.
In addition to framing your resume around the job description and preparing an introduction pitch, you should also have specific examples from your past experience that relate to the assignments of the job you are applying for. The final interview tip is to always have questions prepared regarding the role you are applying for. A couple of questions to ask include: What does a typical day entail in this role? How would you describe the company culture? How do you measure success for this role?
Maintaining a consistent social media image, employing network connections, and preparing an informative introduction will promote confidence and preparedness contributing to an excellent first impression during an interview.
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