‘Tis the season for holiday parties, family gatherings, and advancing your job search. If a new job in on your Santa List, give him a little help making your wish come true.
- Update your resume; no, you won’t be sending them out in place of your holiday letter. You do want to have an updated version available if someone asks for it.
- Make sure you have your cards ready to go. Not those cards, business cards with your name, profession, and contact information. A few printed in red and green or blue and silver might make them more memorable.
- You don’t need to go around saying Ho! Ho! Ho! , but modify your self-introduction to reflect the season. Consider starting your response to, “How are you doing?” with “Enjoying the holidays before I start an all-out job search in January. Looking forward to finding a new position as a (insert your job goal). If you are around in January I would love to get some advice.” Send a follow-up email containing a proposed meeting date the next day.
- Look forward to the trip over the hills and through the woods to your in-laws. See all your holiday events and obligations as networking opportunities. Don’t say “no” to invitations; holidays and unemployment can kindle the desire to hibernate—fight it. A missed event is a missed opportunity to connect with potential employers. The employer may not attend an event, but their best friend/niece might be there.
- Leave the ugly sweater and Santa hat in the closest. Look festive but professional. Save your jingle bell shoe laces to wear at your new company’s holiday party next year.
- Make your holiday cheer a soda; what I like to call “success on the rocks” (check out the profits of Coca Cola and Pepsi and tell me that isn’t success). When you are seeking a new job, holiday events should be treated like interviews: you want to be prepared to answer questions about your accomplishments and career goals.
- Become one of Santa’s elves by helping others. It will boost your mood and expand your network. You never know who you will be paired with to serve mashed potatoes or deliver gifts.
- Don’t be naughty, be nice to employers; make sure you continue to apply for jobs during the holidays. Help a prospective employer start the holiday knowing they have a qualified candidates to interview in the New Year-YOU.