The holiday season is the perfect time to rock your job search
By KATHY HARRIS
This time of year, job hunters tend to put their search efforts on the back burner, thinking that the holidays are characterized by a lull in business. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The holiday season offers a golden opportunity to make new contacts or renew connections with people who are in a position to help you land that dream job. Here's why:
Timing is Everything: The fourth quarter is often a time when companies clamor to fill open positions. Utilizing end-of-year budgets can fuel this uptick in hiring.
A Means to an End: The distribution of year-end bonuses may set the stage for employees to exit from their current jobs. That equates to an opportunity for you.
In the Spirit: Hiring managers are more likely to be available for social and business networking during the holiday season. Tap into the spirit.
Seize the Season
As we all know, the holiday season passes swiftly. So make the most of it with these proven networking tactics and strategies:
- Have a game plan. Research companies, industries, or new skills that interest you. Create a list of activities or connections that will give you an entre to these desired areas.
- Employers generally prefer hiring referred candidates, so use a holiday party to speak with someone who 1) knows your target employer, 2) can share insights about the company culture and 3) arrange an introduction.
- Strengthen relationships or make new connections at your current employer's holiday party. Meet colleagues that you would like to work with, or whose department you'd like to join in the year ahead
- Look for networking opportunities everywhere: Dinner parties, family gatherings, lunch or drinks with friends, even passing time in a checkout line. Be creative and open to a variety of situations in which to build relationships.
- At all events, maintain a professional demeanor and keep your alcohol consumption in check. This is a good policy whether you are looking for a new job or not.
- Don't forget holiday cards. They're a great way to make an introduction, reconnect with a potential collaborator, or to say thank you for a valued relationship.
- When was the last time you refreshed your LinkedIn or Facebook profiles? Update your online brand by highlighting newly-aquired skills and experience. Use social media to wish your contacts a healthy prosperous New Year.
- Even if companies are not currently in a hiring phase, now is still the perfect time to network and build a solid foundation for a followup call in mid-January.
While others may roll with the (perceived) lull of the holiday season, now is the time to rock your job prospecting efforts. By using these simple but effective networking techniques, you will stand out from the crowd, finish the year strong, and position yourself for an outstanding 2017 at your new job.
Kathy Harris is the Founder and Managing Director of Harris Allied (www.harrisallied.com), a New York-based Executive Search and Consulting Firm.