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Many job seekers are convinced that December is a good time to take a break from an active job search, but all signs say otherwise! This year don’t wrap up this year’s job search, along with that new pair of slippers, in anticipation of the approaching holiday season. Contrary to popular belief, shelving a job search in advance of the approaching holiday season is simply not a good New Year’s resolution.
This is, in fact, the perfect time for job search networking for three reasons:
- The holiday spirit inspires people to want to help others get what they need, too.
- Work slows down at a lot of companies, leaving time for long coffees, lunches and informational interviews with you!
- Hiring does NOT stop; statistics show that hiring happens right through December, with January known as the “golden time of recruiting.”
Here are three tips to help job seekers gain momentum during the holiday season (and all year round):
1. Party with a professional purpose. There are more parties in December than during any other time of year, which means more opportunities to network. It is acceptable to discuss job search related topics but, remember: friends, family members, and business acquaintances are more inclined to help if it is mutually beneficial. So, before heading out, give some thought to a few ways to help others, thus making the conversation reciprocal.
2. Create a Follow-Up “Hook.” When networking, take copious mental notes about the conversations had with people at holiday parties. (And, upon returning home, get those thoughts down on paper.) What’s important to remember? Things like topics you discussed, common interests, or any promise you made to get something to them, or advice you offered, are all good fodder for future conversations. These ‘hooks’ will make future follow-up that much easier!
3. Volunteer. Not only will volunteering infuse the “spirit” of the season into a mundane, perhaps frustrating, search; it can look mighty good on a resume too. Be strategic; whenever possible, job seekers should research companies and/or organizations that would be a “right-fit” were a position to open up in the future. While there, network, get to know the key players and become an insider. (Insiders get hired, after all.)
For professionals in every function and industry who find themselves in a job search this holiday season, check out my book, 100 Conversations for Career Success: Learn to Network, Cold Call, and Tweet Your Way to Your Dream Job, which covers communication strategies for networking, cold calling, and conducting informational interviews and much more. This book arms job seekers with real-world, step-by-step examples of what to do and say to take advantage of new networking opportunities, and it’s packed with practical advice and actual talking scripts to help prepare you for any conversation that will occur during a job search.
Oh, and we’re extending a SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFER:
Job seekers who purchase the book in December and email a receipt to me at laura@thecareerstrategygroup will receive a special recorded Q & A call from me and Miriam Salpeter addressing questions on every job seeker’s mind, from:
- What’s LinkedIn’s endorsement feature all about, and why should I care?
- How can I prepare to answer questions I don’t want to discuss in an interview?
- I’m making a career change; is there an assessment tool I should use?
‘Tis the season to rock the job market, after all!