Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Holiday Networking Can Facilitate New Year Opportunities

holidayThis month, members of the Career Collective are discussing tips to help job seekers ramp up their efforts for the holiday season and New Year. Here are my thoughts on making the most of your job search during the holiday season.

I’ve been spending the past few evenings writing out holiday cards to my clients. I find that holidays are a great way to reconnect with clients and find out what they have been up to.

The same can be said for job seekers. The holidays provide a natural touch point for reaching out to your network and seeing how friends, family, and colleagues are doing. It’s also an excellent way to become top of mind with people in your network and open up a dialogue in the New Year. Here are some other things you can do during the holiday season to beef up your network and start meaningful career conversations in the New Year.

  1. Attend holiday parties. Many professional associations host holiday parties. This is a great way to meet others in your field that may be able to make meaningful introductions for you.
  2. Throw your own party. Have an intimate dinner party or a bigger bash at your home or nearby restaurant. This is a great way to practice your pitch, and reconnect with people who may be able to assist you in your search.
  3. Ask for informational interviews. The last two weeks of December are traditionally slow for most businesses. You may find that the decision makers who are in the office during those last two weeks are more likely to take a meeting with you.
  4. Volunteer. Tis the season…volunteer to do something meaningful in your personal or professional communities during December.  Doing so can increase your visibility and jump start some conversations with people who may be able to help you in the New Year.
  5. Take a vacation. What better way to meet new decision makers? It doesn’t need to be extravagent…just find new people to have conversations with. Let them know what you do and ask for their suggestions for expanding your brand’s reach in a very informational, non-threatening way. You may just pick up a lead or two.
  6. Reconnect with friends of “Christmas Past”. Check out LinkedIn and Facebook and search for old friends. What better time to reconnect than the holiday season? Get over the fact that it’s been awhile since you last spoke and take the first step. You may be pleasantly surprised by the response you get.

You can read what my colleagues at The Career Collective suggest here:

@MartinBuckland, Elite Resumes, Season’s Greetings and your Job Search”

@GayleHoward, The Executive Brand, “It’s Christmas: And a ho-ho-ho-hum?”

@KCCareerCoach, Career Chaos, “The Gift Every Laid Off Job Seeker Needs”

@resumeservice, Resume Writing Blog,Holiday Resume Sparkle: Outshine the New Year Job-Search Mob

@heathermundell, life@work, “Have a Holly Jolly Job Search”

@sweetcareers,Sweet Careers, “Holiday Job Search Tips for College Students 2009″

@careersherpa, Hannah Morgan: Career Sherpa, “Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa Cheers”

@careerealism, CAREEREALISM.com, “Holiday Tip for Job Seekers: 4 Ways to Impress Others with Your Professionalism”

@heatherhuhman, HeatherHuhman.com, “4 Tips for Making the Most of Holiday Job Hunting”

@LaurieBerenson, Sterling Career Concepts, Three Resolutions to Take It Up a Notch”

@KatCareerGal, Quintessential Resumes and Cover Letters Tips Blog, “Avoiding the Holiday Blues in Your Job Search”

@WorkWithIllness, WorkingWithillness.com, Avoid this Minefield: Drive Your Bus!”

@DawnBugni, “The Write Solution Could that sound really be opportunity? During the Holidays?”

@andyinnaples, “Shift Your Focus to the Highest Impact Job Search Activities During the Holidays to Leverage Your Time”

@erinkennedycprw, Professional Resume Services, How to keep up the Job Hunt during the Holidays”

@keppie_careers, Keppie Careers, “Four tips for effective networking follow-up for the holidays and the rest of the year”

@ValueIntoWords, Career Trend, “Navigating the Mistle Toe of Job Search”

@GLHoffman, What Would Dad Say, “Merry Christmas! Can I Buy You Coffee to Talk About Me?”

@expatcoachmegan, Career By Choice Blog, “Expat Networking: Holidays Are a Great Time to Nurture and Grow Your Network”

@chandlee, The Emerging Professional Blog, “Footprints & Associations: Job Search Tips for the Holidays”

@JobHuntOrg, Job-Hunt.org, “(Holiday) Party Your Way to a New Job”