The holiday season presents great networking opportunities to boost your job search. Holiday parties and other events can help you connect with all kinds of people, increasing the likelihood you can link with the right professional contacts, and even your next employer. And contrary to what many job seekers believe, job hunting during the holiday season can be a great time, partly because there is less competition from other job seekers.
Don't Slow Down Your Job Search. Some people give up job searching between Thanksgiving and New Years. Don't be one of them. Employers are still hiring and companies that budget on an annual basis may have jobs that they need to hire for now.
Use Down Time. If you're working at a company where the holiday season is a slow one, take advantage. If you have vacation time you need to use up, schedule some networking meetings. It's an ideal time of year to connect with acquaintances you haven't been in touch with in a while, both to celebrate the holiday season and to let them know you're in the market for a job.
Use Personal and Professional Events . If you are attending a holiday social event, it is definitely appropriate to mention that you are job searching. Accept all the invitations you receive, both personal and professional. You never know who may be able to help. Friends and family, as well as business acquaintances are typically more than happy to assist.
Send Holiday Cards . Sending a "Happy Holidays" or a "Happy New Year" greeting card to networking contacts, recruiters, and to employers you have interviewed with is another good way to connect with those who can help with your job search.
Connect Online. Send email or use a professional or social networking site such as LinkedIn or Facebook to get in touch. The holiday season is a good excuse to touch base and a good time to reinforce or expand your network.
Relax and Enjoy. During this time of year, it's also important to take some time for yourself and your family. Relax a little and don't forget to enjoy the holiday season. That's important too, for all of us, whether we are job seeking, or not.
We have an additional suggestion for job seekers: Sharpen your networking and other job search skills at workshops offered at Minnesota WorkForce Centers . Sign up to attend a free workshop to learn how to use a professional or social networking site to connect with contacts online or join a job club to expand your network and receive support from other job seekers.
WorkForce Centers hold workshops on a wide array of job-search related subjects throughout the holidays with the exception of Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Check out the workshops and training calendar for job seekers or if you are a former member of the U.S. military, the calendar of career events for veterans .