There’s nothing wrong with being quiet or shy. In fact, the world might be a better place if a few more people fit into that category. Unfortunately our society, including job recruiters, often rewards the more extroverted, aggressive types, making the assumption that quiet equals less capable.
If you count yourself among the ranks of the shy, you can definitely have a fantastic career, but it’s important to understand how you may be perceived by potential employers, and to make a few adjustments to your approach.
First, never sell yourself short because you’re not the noisiest face in the crowd. You’ll just need to stand out from your peers in other ways. You’ll need to demonstrate the Winning Characteristics that don’t rely entirely on being vocally assertive, including Logic, Organization, and Entrepreneurship. Work hard to develop these attributes, and compelling examples of each to share with recruiters. Showing a strong, well-rounded background will help your prospects considerably.
Next, do everything you can to increase your comfort level in the interview setting. Interview for jobs you don’t even want, just for the practice. If interview coaching is available at your placement center, take advantage of it. Have your friends or relatives ask you typical interview questions so you can work on your descriptions of the various success stories you’ve accumulated through your college career. You don’t need to be an accomplished public speaker to be perceived in a positive light, but being calm and positive is essential.
Finally, make sure you research the jobs you apply for. The title of Account Consultant at bank may sound interesting enough, but your duties may entail talking to thirty total strangers every day. If that’s not your cup of tea, your time will be better spent on other opportunities.
The meek may inherit the earth someday, but for now, make sure you put your best foot forward—it can lead to college success and success in the workplace!