December 2012

Get a Job

Mauri Schwartz

Q: During the holidays should I give my job search a break and wait until after the New Year? I’ve heard that December is a bad time to be trying to find a job.

A: Great question! While it’s true that there’s less hiring activity between Thanksgiving and New Year’s because many people take vacations, it’s wrong to assume that nothing gets done. While many job seekers take this time off, why don’t you use this opportunity to take advantage of a bit less competition?

The holiday period is a terrific time for networking…parties, parties, parties. It’s a great excuse to contact people you haven’t seen all year. Send out holiday greetings, invite people out or over. If you’re invited to parties, GO! Host a party yourself. Being among your friends will lift your spirits and self-confidence.

When contacting friends, be sure to ask about them, how they’re and what they’re doing. And let them know about you, how you are, and that you’re looking for a new job…and be specific about the job you’re seeking. You can lighten things up by adding, “I thought I’d let you know just in case you hear of something.”

Send holiday greetings by email to 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’ve been doing, and let them know about your job search. Ask them if you can do anything for them. It’s well known that supporting someone in an endeavor automatically makes that person want to return the favor. 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 opportunity! Be sure to collect business cards so that you can follow up as soon as possible.

One last word of advice…if you’re partying and networking, please be on your best behavior and don’t overuse alcohol; at least I didn’t say not to use any alcohol!

Mauri Schwartz is President / CEO of Career Insiders www.

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