Just last week, the Grammar Chic blog weighed the heavy question of job hunting over the holidays—that is, should it even be attempted, or are you better off putting your job search on hold until January? The possibly surprising answer is that the month of December is actually an ideal time to job search: Competition is thinner, employers are more desperate, and you have holiday parties to use to your advantage.
Yes, holiday parties. Most of us will attend one or more of them in the weeks to come, and while these yuletide get-togethers can be perfectly merry and bright, they can also be helpful to you as you seek a new job.
How can jobseekers use holiday parties to their advantage? Consider these quick tips:
- If nothing else—at an absolute bare minimum—you can use holiday parties to hone your speaking, listening, and networking skills. Challenge yourself to talk to as many people as you can; to remember names; to get good at active listening; to ask probing questions, even to people who are frankly kinda boring. You’ll need to do a lot of that kind of thing on the job trail; might as well practice now, in a cheerier and less stressful environment.
- If you’re in a conversation with someone and the topic turns to work, ask some job-related questions. If the person you’re talking to works in your industry, then great. If not, you can still ask where he or she found work; which career sites he or she recommends; what weird interview questions he or she has fielded; and so on. Again, it’s a great way to hone your skills and prepare yourself further for the job market.
- Always be networking. Yes, even at a holiday party. Seek out new people to connect with, and if you reconnect with old friends or colleagues—which you very well might, at a holiday party—then don’t forget to follow up. Try to schedule a coffee get-together for next week, or at the very least shoot the person a quick e-mail or LinkedIn message when you get home. Holiday parties can be great for rehabilitating otherwise weak connections.
- Finally, avoid doing anything that will embarrass you or tarnish your personal brand. Don’t get wasted. Don’t spend all night just talking about you, and certainly don’t spend it bashing your previous employers. All of these behaviors will only serve to hamper your job search.
Even a holiday party can be a platform for moving your job search forward. Another way to enhance your odds, of course, is to invest in a new resume. For more information about Grammar Chic’s top-grade resume writing services, contact us today: 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.