How you can keep searching through the holiday season

The holiday grind is no reason for your search to grind to a halt.

This guest post is by Jane Trnka, career coach and executive director of Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business’ Career Development Center.

While the hustle and bustle of the holidays is in full swing, that doesn’t mean that your job search should take a holiday break too. In fact, although companies may not be hiring at this time, there are still plenty of ways to keep ahead of the competition by differentiating yourself and being productive during this merry time.  These six tips will help you keep that search going during the peak of the holiday season.

1.  Practice your 30-second commercial – If you don’t have one, create one. If you have one, but haven’t said it out loud in a while, start practicing. Share it with people you trust will give honest feedback and practice it.

2. Leverage social media to network, network, network – I know this is said over and over again, but it can’t be emphasized enough. Make connections, invite someone to meet with you via phone or in person to share appropriate information, and follow up. Networking is about building and enhancing relationships, receiving assistance and helping others – not asking for a job.

3. Send holiday cards to employers of interest – Get specific names and titles, making sure you spell everything correctly. Include your business card and a brief note stating you are very interested in meeting them to learn more about their industry, organization, etc. No need to send small tokens – a generic holiday card is fine!

4. Schedule an informational meeting – In general, people want to help others, especially if you take the initiative. Over the holidays, people tend to be more relaxed and can make time in their schedule to meet with you. Prepare for the meeting by conducting research on the leader and company, and have 3 – 4 questions to ask. Thank them after the meeting, and definitely send a thank you note after your visit.

5.  Bring family and friends into the search – Ask for search-related gifts, which will help to reduce your expenses and keep you engaged. Gift cards to coffee shops, office supply and general stores help with those mid-day meetings and can help purchase supplies and gas.

6.   Reconnect with old friends and acquaintances – While visiting with family, friends and/or former classmates and attending holiday events, etc., reconnect and catch up.  Talk about what you have been learning about yourself and organizations, share positive experiences regarding your search, and how you look forward to leveraging your skills and talents with an employer in the near future.  Chances are many you chat with will provide additional resources and referrals to help you in your search.

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