Ready? It’s Job Hunt Season

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Oct 31, 2011 in , , | No Comments

Most job hunters back off on their search from November through January–this is a big mistake.

Some wrongly assume employers won’t be hiring during the holidays. It’s a myth, they do hire year round. Just think, if most job seekers slow down during the holiday months, that means your chances to land a job goes up!

Be Prepared

Tonight, Halloween kicks off the beginning of several major holidays in a row from now until January. Take advantage of the opportunities they present, which are many, to network with people who could help you get hired.

Tips to get you ready for the holidays:

1) Keep a stack of business or JIST Cards in your wallet. Always have extras in the car.
2) Keep resumes in an envelope in your car.
3) Take every opportunity to network, a) parties b) parents neighborhood get-together c) holiday dinners with relatives and friends d) church, organizations and club a
4) If you go out of town to visit, be sure to take business or JIST Cards and resumes with you. Even on the ski slopes, you might run into someone who is in a position to hire. If you don’t know what a JIST Card is, please see Michael Farr’s books.

Have trouble networking?

Your ability to care about others should be at the top of the list. That may surprise some, but it’s true. If you care about what others are doing, what they are seeking, and how you can assist them, they will usually be interested in getting to know you. And assist you in return. Their connections may help you find employment.

Networking isn’t about walking into a place armed with your business cards and resume, waiting for the opportunity to latch onto the right person, making a one minute pitch. It has to be more genuine than that, it must be natural and enjoyable. Networking opportunities, (whether it’s a large prearranged event for job seekers, or a neighborhood party) allows you to meet a large number of people at one time. Meet as many as you can, ask for introductions to their connections at the party.

Pace Yourself

Be aware of how you spend your time and energy. For example, don’t waste time with the obnoxious drunk who becomes louder by the minute. One word of caution–please, don’t you be the obnoxious drunk!–you’ll kill opportunities. Focus on those you have something in common with, people who are friendly, and volunteer information about themselves. When you take the time to ask people about themselves, not immediately start talking about yourself, opportunities will open up.

There’s a fine line between being interested and being pushy. Listen carefully to what the other person is saying, they may give clues whether or not they’re open to discuss more. Simple questions to break the ice could be: “How do you know ___________(person giving the party)?” or, “What’s your major, or where do you work?”

These can open the conversation and allow for more information gathering. For example, you ask a person you don’t know, (at your parent’s annual Christmas party), the first question. You discover this is mom’s former supervisor! Now here’s a chance to find out if your skill-sets are needed at the company where your mom once worked. When the time is right, give your business or JIST Card to them. If they want to help, then ask for assistance in getting your resume on the right desk on Monday morning.

One thing that is very important when networking is remember to leave home with a smile and positive attitude. People pick up on your mood. If you’re struggling with anger or depression, please get help to deal with those feelings.

Important Check List

1.) Dress for success! When attending a holiday party to network, dress appropriately. Women, the overly sexy holiday ensemble attracts the wrong kind of attention. Be professional with a simple, well fitting dress that’s not too short, and doesn’t show cleavage. And men, an ironed dress shirt and clean slacks with polished shoes make a good impression.

2.) Take a genuine interest in others. Ask appropriate questions, keep it leaning towards your goal–key words–that clue you in a person is open to more discussion. Have your business cards handy. Get introduced to their friends. Ask for assistance if they show an interest to help.

3.) Stay sober to make a good impression–and to get home in one piece. Please, don’t drink and drive.

4.) Enjoy yourself!

Good luck in your holiday job search.



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