3) Enjoy the Festivities, But Just Say No!
While not every festivity is guaranteed to generate potential job leads, any conduct on your part that results in a need for you to apologize is virtually guaranteed to close a door, if not worse.
Don’t for a moment think that a potential employer will forgive (never mind forget) a drunken display because it’s the holidays. And, no, no employer will deny you an opportunity because you didn’t drink at a holiday party. Trust us. Drinking or not drinking is not a test.
4) Explore the Unadvertised Job Market
Even if companies are hiring, they may not advertise those openings, so don’t use the job boards as your only guide to finding job openings.
Search for the companies where you want to work and the possibility that they have the type of work you want to do. As we’ve already pointed out, the holiday season is an ideal time to reconnect with people in your network.
Take advantage of this as a chance to find people you know who have connections with your companies of interest. When talking with your friends, family, and business contacts, ask them if they have other ideas for people you should speak with.
Many businesses become more relaxed as the holidays approach – more gatherings, fewer people in the office. Use this to your advantage. Prospective employers could be more open to chatting about jobs available now or in the new year.
Job searching in this targeted way is often the most effective strategy a may result in uncovering dream job opportunities that you would not otherwise know about.
5) It’s the Write Time. Or, Rather, it’s the Time to Write
Think holiday greeting cards are passé? Perhaps, if they’re preprinted without the addition of a personal touch.
Who among us doesn’t like to receive a handwritten note from someone we know? Exactly.
Go through your contact list and take inventory of those with whom you have had a positive connection. It might be a former employer, a mentor, a past co-worker, a customer, a recruiter you’ve been in touch with, or someone you met at a conference
If you haven’t thought about these individuals in some time, likely, they haven’t thought much about you either. So give them a reason to do so. Showing you care may be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Of course, now isn’t the time to mention your holiday job search, but you could follow up a week or two later with a phone call. The topic of work will inevitably come up, and that is the time to discuss your search and ask if they have any suggestions for people that might be helpful for you to talk with.
You would be surprised at how few job seekers use this strategy, so it is a great way to stand out from your competition. You might consider sending your card at a slightly offbeat time so it arrives alone rather than with a dozen other cards. For example, on December 26, you could send a “Happy New Year” card.
As the saying goes, timing is everything. And your friendly social reminder may just cross the desk of someone who knows of a position for which you are ideally suited. Wouldn’t a new job start the New Year off just right?
6) Enjoy the Chit Chat
People want to chat at holiday events, and talking about work is a natural part of the chit-chat – but only a part. So let the conversation flow naturally; otherwise, you may come across as too blunt, and that’s not quite how you want to be remembered.
Engage, but don’t overdo it. And remember that your goal is simply to gain introductions or referrals to people, continuously expanding and strengthening your network.
If you ask if your contact knows of a job opening, the answer will almost always be “no.” But if you ask for an introduction to other people your contact knows, the answer will often be in the affirmative.
7) Follow Up With Your Contacts
If you do have networking prospects who could potentially help you with your career goals, make sure you follow up on all of them. Because it’s the holidays, people are in happier spirits and will enjoy hearing from you, and your strategy should reflect that. In other words, make the conversation reasonably light and relaxed but still to the point.
8) Have Your Own Gathering
It is better to give than to receive – and if you find yourself looking for opportunities for job search networking during the holiday season, it can be a great idea to host your own holiday party.
Invite friends and colleagues, acquaintances, and neighbors. You never know who might hold the key to new career opportunities. It also lets people know what gracious, conscientious, and enjoyable company you are – which makes for a great first impression.
9) Evaluate Your Job Search and Interview Strategies
Even if you have to wait for new job opportunities to unveil themselves or come to fruition as you search during the holidays, this doesn’t mean there is nothing for you to do.
Take this time to reassess your job search strategies, research prospective employers, and polish your professional networking and interview techniques.
Refining these aspects will make you more confident when talking with others before and during job interviews and, in turn, will enhance your chances of getting hired.