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Networking. Holiday Style!

Tis the season to stand out! Don't stops looking for employment during the holiday season. That's what your competition is doing...

USE HOLIDAY TIME TO....

Maximize networking opportunities to meet new people and build relationships; maintain the holiday spirit to enhance your mood as well as others; manage & move towards your vision so you can "gift" yourself with a new job!

Many job seekers think the holidays are a bad time to look for employment. Catherine Jewell, an Austin, Texas career coach and author of the book, “New Resume, New Career,” says job-hunters who keep at it are actually more likely to find a job over the holidays.

WAYS YOU CAN USE THIS TIME OF YEAR TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

1. There’s less competition – Lots of people give up looking over the holidays and that means you’ll have a better chance.

2. The holidays put people in a receptive mood -The focus on family and fun makes people more open to conversation, even with job-seekers.

3. Be visible – When you are attending holiday parties and other gatherings let people know that you are excited about looking for new opportunities where you can use your great skills and abilities to benefit a company or organization.

4. The season can help you appreciate your good fortune - Hiring managers respond better to applicants with a positive outlook. So though it sounds a tad Pollyannaish, Jewell says, “The holidays can help you move ahead by appreciating all the good things in your life, even if you're unemployed.

5. Managers have more time to take your call - Workloads often lighten up during the holidays. If a hiring manager isn't out of town, he's more likely to chat with you than he would be at another time of year.

6. Hiring managers must meet end-of-year deadlines - Some managers have quotas to fill, like hiring 15 marketing staffers by Dec. 31. If they're behind on hiring when you present yourself, you could get lucky.

7. Use the Internet to find your ideal job - Reading online job descriptions to help you figure out your ideal job title, and potentially your ideal employer

8. Send cards - Use e-cards as an easy way to connect or reconnect with your network. In addition to wishing your friends a good holiday, you can update them that your job search is going well, but that you’re still looking for a position that uses your talents.

9. Be proactive – Invite neighbors over for coffee and dessert or create an event that will be fun for you and your family. If you have children, use your parent network by starting with your children’s friends!

10. Get into the holiday spirit – Be generous with your time and do something nice for someone else such as cooking for an elderly neighbor or volunteering at a soup kitchen. This strengthens your connections with others, one of the fastest ways to a new opportunity.

11. Evaluate your job search – What’s working and not working? Take time to reflect. Review your strategy check-list. If you don’t have one, then create one so you may see if you are spending your job search time wisely. Are you implementing targeted marketing tools? Are you getting interviews? Answering questions like these will help you see if you have a powerful strategy in place.

12. Have a written schedule for each day –Have categories from your job search strategies allocated within each week. For example: Internet search time, networking e-mails, and calls, researching companies of interest, looking for professional meetings and other ways to get out of the house and interact with people, administrative tasks and follow up. It doesn’t have to be all work and no play schedule breaks and have lunch with a friend or other enjoyable activity.

13. Get outside advice – Join a networking support group like Career…Encore! Set-up a career coaching appointment in the Business and Job Center of the Richland Library, ask people who have successfully found employment for their tips and tricks, and set-up informational interviews with persons working in the career field that is of interest to you.

14. Follow-up, Follow-up – Getting back to people is critical because if you don’t, the person you had contacted will assume you have found something else and not feel compelled to let you know about a new position within their company. Follow-up in a professional manner either with a polite phone call or e-mail. The reasonable time frame is often every two or three weeks and you will not be considered a pest!

Resource: Baur, Jean. How to Job Search Over the Holidays-Forbes. Forbes, 2010 Web. 2014


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