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Networking Tips for the Holidays

Networking Tips for the Holidays

Kim Isaacs | Monster Resume Expert

November 10, 2009

Ah, the holidays — a time to rejoice, be merry and enjoy a well-earned break until the new year. But if you’re job searching, it’s also a great time to kick your job search into high gear.

Believe it or not, the holiday season can be a promising time to secure a new position. “Companies…want to start the new year with the right talent on board before the first week of January,” says Kim Batson, a career-management coach with more than 10 years of career coaching experience. She adds that because so many people believe it’s better to postpone job searching until January, there’s less competition during the holidays.

So if you’re wondering how to get a jump on the competition as well as your resume noticed during the holidays, consider these tips.

Network at Holiday Events

Whether you’re attending an employer-sponsored party or some other holiday event, make the most of social gatherings by planning in advance. “Set a goal to meet, connect with and learn from three to five people at an event,” advises Andrea Nierenberg, a New York City-based speaker and trainer and author of Million Dollar Networking. “Do your research before going so you know something about those you might meet.”

Beverly Harvey, president of Beverly Harvey Resume & Career Service, stresses the importance of quality versus quantity when networking at holiday events. “Develop several good, solid relationships instead of trying to develop many relationships that won’t be valuable,” she says.

Conversations should be focused on the person you’re speaking with, not you and your job search — that can come later, after trust has been built. “When first introduced to the contact you want to speak with, show genuine interest in their lives, interests and careers,” Batson says.

This is also not the time to whip out your resume. “Do not bring resumes to holiday functions,” cautions Nierenberg. The goal is to start building rapport and setting the stage for future follow up.

You can, however, give out business cards that relay your career field and areas of expertise. “Job seekers might want to use a business card that states their personal brand, i.e., ‘Sally Smith, Human Resource Director, Specialist in Diversity Issues’ or ‘Tom Taylor, Operations Manager, Global Supply Chain Efficiency Expert,’” says Batson.

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