Should you network during the holidays?
Yes! Although hiring tends to slow down around the holiday season, job openings are just around the corner. Put your time to good use this holiday season to prepare. Make sure that networking is on the top of your list with spreading some cheer, so that you're the first person they think of when hiring season begins after the New Year. Who knows, good tidings may come your way.
Networking has proved to be infinitely more effective than traditional job search methods such as online job postings. In fact, about 27% of all external hires are a result from referrals and recent reports from Career Horizons show that at least 70% of jobs aren't even published online. Jumpstart your job search with some quality networking so that you dont miss out on the hiring season.
- Define your goals. This season is one for giving, but it is important that you find a position that you are qualified for and will ultimately be satisfied with. Passion is a feeling that others can sense, and they will be more willing to help you land a job if they know how much you want it. Therefore, decide the type of industry you want to work in and the position that you desire, and then identify a list of your top 10-20 companies to look into. It will be easier to sell yourself for a position where you fit the profile of an ideal candidate.
- Spread holiday cheer. If you want to get back in touch with past key players in our network, the holiday season is a great excuse for it. Connect with old friends, peers, neighbors or old co-workers and managers with holiday greeting cards. Turning a cold lead into a warm one will make it easier for you to approach them for a job when the time comes.
- RSVP to events. Industry-related networking events are plentiful year-round, but the holiday season is an excellent opportunity to rub elbows with people in your network so thy will remember you once they hear about open positions. Go online and search for events being held near you. Most importantly, make sure to prepare a stack of business cards or forms of contact to bring along. You goal for the night should be to come home empty-handed, with prospects brewing elsewhere.
- Make your intentions clear. Introduce yourself, your career background and explain why you're interested in connecting with the person. It is okay to be eager about potential job opportunities, but make sure that you're not overly aggressive. People respond to personal interest, so make it a two-way, mutually gratifying exchange by preparing some value-added benefit such as interesting business insight you got while researching the company.
- Don't get discouraged. You will not hear back from every person that you reach out to. Whether they are overwhelmed with their own schedule or don't feel like they are the right person to help at this moment, you never know when the right time will come. The most important thing is that you stay positive and continue expanding your network to reach a potentially wider pool of jobs.
Don't miss out on getting hired! Use our professional templates and writing examples to create a professional resume in time for the hiring season.