The holidays are here! Does this mean that you can take a break from your job search? While it's definitely tempting to spend all of your time at holiday parties and watching mindless television, you could be wasting a valuable opportunity. This time of year can be important to your job search, but you have to stick with it. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:
Keep submitting applications. It may surprise you to learn that there are jobs available during the holidays. People quit, retire and move on to other opportunities. Since many job seekers have taken a break for the holidays, there is less competition for open positions.
Send holiday greetings. The holidays are excellent excuse to reach out to your networking contacts. While you are sending out holiday greetings, invite them out for a coffee. This will help you maintain a strong relationship with the people in your network and you never know what opportunities your contacts will bring to you.
Set goals. With the New Year looming, there is lots of talk of New Years' resolutions. The New Year is an excellent time to set new goals and refocus your efforts. Buy a new agenda and lay out your new job search strategy. Be specific about what you want to accomplish and when. Consider which strategies have given you positive results and which have not. Sometimes a small change in the way that you approach your job search can make a huge difference in your outcome.
Attend holiday events. There are so many great events happening during the holiday season: family parties, getting together with friends, end of year celebrations, school events, the list goes on and on....These are all excellent opportunities to expand your network. Talk to people and build a connection with them. Ask them what they do for a living and don't be afraid to tell them about your job search. After you get home, make sure that you add them as a contact on LinkedIn. .
Spend your down time on LinkedIn. Since you are going to have a little extra time during the holidays, why don't you invest some time into Linked In. Take a look at your profile and see if there is anything that can be improved. Look at people with similar job titles and identify what they have done well on their profiles. Reach out to your contacts to say hello and see if you can find any new contacts. Find companies to follow, industry groups to join, and try out the job search function. LinkedIn is an excellent tool for job seekers if you take the time to use it.
It's a great idea to keep your momentum going during the holiday season but try not to get too intense about it. It is also important to let yourself enjoy the festivities with your friends and family. By staying engaged with your job search, you can relax knowing that you'll be able to jump right back into it once the New Year starts.
(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)