10 Tips for Successful Holiday Job Hunting
The dos and don'ts of end-of-year networking
'Tis the season for networking and this is especially beneficial for those job seekers looking to utilize their gatherings in search of a new career. What better time than the holidays? Not only does it work, but you get to have fun as the end of the year presents additional leads to pursue and an abundance of opportunities and expand your network.
Some holiday job hunting tips include:
1. Networking is not only about attending events – use the phone.
Each day, call one friend and one former co-worker to whom you have not spoken in a while and see how they are doing. Then let the conversation gravitate to what you are up to … naturally.
2. Stay clear of the ‘bah-humbug’ crowd.
If you feel someone is just a Debbie Downer who is going to bring you down with him/her, then find someone else to chat with, learn about and help. This is networking not therapy. Help someone who wants your help.
3. Do your homework before choosing to attend events.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Research who will be attending to evaluate how it can fulfill your personal or professional goals and then follow through.
4. Not sure what to say or ask? Here are a few favorites.
- How are you connected to this group?
- What brings you to the event?
- What kind of day did you have today?
- What do you enjoy most about what you do?
- What do you find most challenging?
- Plans for the weekend?
5. Find a buddy to attend events with you.
Plan to facilitate introductions for each other as you meet people throughout the event.
6. Get there early whenever possible.
It can be a challenge to enter conversations that already started if you are late.
7. Have an eloquent, concise way to describe where you are in life and what you are looking to do in the next phase of your career.
Be prepared to explain that you are looking for a new position and the kind of job you seek, when it is appropriate to share.
8. Be curious.
Ask questions and learn about problems/opportunities within your contact’s industry to make mental notes of items to research and explore after the event. This could lead to your next job.
9. Don’t ask about job openings.
Instead, ask broad, open-ended questions that show your interest in the other person.
10. Post-game wrap-up.
If you enjoyed meeting someone, email them saying so. Call asking to meet for coffee over the next few weeks. This is how relationships start.
Another way to get new ideas for networking is to review lists so you can do your homework before the event and be better prepared. Also, consider doing Colorado location searches on EventBrite for networking events or contact searches on LinkedIn to reach out to local connections.