Looking for a job is a challenge for everyone but if just talking to people makes you nervous, the job search process can feel a lot more difficult. Here are some tips that will help you be competitive in the job market even if you are shy:
Make a list of your strengths. Some people are shy because they lack confidence. If this sounds like you, then a good place to start is to understand your value in the job market. Make a list of everything that you are good at and circle the items that relate to your target job. Include anything that you have been complimented on by previous supervisors or tasks that always seem to be given to you. When you are aware of your strengths, it is a lot easier for you to market yourself to potential employers.
Focus on research. Introverts are often strong on the research side of the job search process. If this is something that you are good at, then take advantage of this strength. Spend a lot of time researching your target industry, company, and position. This research can help you identify potential opportunities, become aware the required skills for your target position, and impress an employer both with your resume and at the interview. Wtih strong research you can make yourself stand out above your competition.
Network individually. To network effectively, it is not necessary to be able to work a room. The strongest networkers do most of their networking on an individual basis. A great way to build and maintain relationships with your contacts is by inviting them out for a cup of coffee. This allows you to get to know each other and to determine how you might be able to work together. With networking, the key is to be consistent and to always be thinking about how you can benefit the other person.
Use social media. Social media makes it easier than ever for shy people to network. Through social media you are able to directly reach people who are working in your target industry and at your target company. Take some time to build a profile that looks professional and that highlights your key skills and experience. Be consistent with your social media efforts and post on regular basis. If you present yourself well on social media, it can open doors for you.
Practice for the interview. If you get nervous when you are talking to new people, interviews may be difficult for you. One way to prepare yourself is to practice. Make a list of a few common interview questions and a few questions that specifically relate to the job. Have someone ask you the questions and videotape the responses. Sometimes just making a few small tweaks can make a big difference in how you are perceived by employers.
Being shy is not as much of a barrier as you might think. The truth is that many employers actually prefer the shy candidates. If you can effectively communicate that you would be a good fit for the job, then you have a great chance of getting hired.