The holidays are coming up and many people think they should give their job search a break. While it is true that there is less hiring activity because many people take vacations, it is wrong to assume that nothing gets done. With the economy the way it is, people are not taking as much vacation time as they may have in the past. And that includes hiring managers. While many job seekers are taking this time off, why don’t you use this opportunity to take advantage of a bit less competition?
In addition, this is a good time to engage professional help as most job search expenses are tax deductible (check with the IRS for details). Services you purchase before December 31 will be tax deductible for 2013.
The holiday period is a terrific time for networking…parties, parties, parties. It is a great excuse to contact people you haven’t seen all year. Send out holiday greetings, invite people out or over. If you are invited to parties, GO! Host a party yourself. Being among your friends will lift your spirits and your self confidence.
When contacting friends, be sure to ask about them, how they are and what they are doing. And let them know about you, how you are, and that you are looking for a new job…and be specific about the job you are seeking. You can lighten it up by adding, “I thought I’d let you know just in case you hear of something.”
Send holiday greetings by email to those companies you haven’t heard from in a while. Use this as an excuse to make an additional follow-up connection.
When you attend events, plan ahead. Think about the people you know who will probably be there. Prepare your “elevator speech” but in a lighter more social tone. Again, ask them about themselves, what they have been doing, etc. and let them know about your job search.
Also consider that there may be people whom you don’t know as well and make it a point to meet as many of them as possible. One of my favorite sayings about networking is that whenever there are two or more people, it’s a networking event! Be sure to collect business cards so that you can follow up as soon as possible.
One last word of advice…if you are partying and networking, please be on your best behavior and do not overuse alcohol. (Well, at least I didn’t say not to drink at all!)
Hi my name is Mauri, and I am the President of Career Insiders, a career management and talent acquisition consulting firm. I speak frequently at conferences, job fairs, and career panels. Earlier this year I was invited to participate on a panel discussion at NCHRA’S Annual HR West Conference. I consult with career centers at universities including UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Tulane University, Mills College, and others, and contribute regularly to publications such as TheLadders RecruitBlog. I am what some might consider a professional “people person.”