Monday, November 14, 2005

Many job seekers place their searches on hold during the holiday season because hiring activity is traditionally slow during this period. While it is true that fewer companies are filling full time positions in December, the holiday month is actually an ideal time to retool your networking strategy and get in front of decision makers who are hard to reach at other times during the year. The season lends itself to numerous opportunities to reconnect with friends and colleagues, share good will, and develop new relationships. You can build and nurture relationships now using the techniques listed below.

Holiday Cards
Haven't talked to a friend or colleague in over a year and now it feels awkward to call? Holiday cards are an easy way to reconnect with people who you've lost touch with. They allow you to re-establish the relationship and pick up where you left off. While it's generally not appropriate to solicit someone for job search advice or leads through a holiday card, it is an excellent method for rebuilding rapport so you can eventually ask connections for information related to your search.

Holiday Parties
Parties typically draw people together that belong to a particular community. Your affinity with that community allows you to build relationships with members who may be able to assist you in your search. By attending parties hosted by family members, schools, houses of worship, and professional organizations you will diversify your potential circle of networking contacts and possibly accelerate your job search.

Informational Interviews
One of the easiest times to get in front of decision makers may be the holiday season. Although many people are out on vacation, many others are not. Business demands are typically reduced at the end of the year and the people you need to meet may have increased flexibility as the month winds down. By introducing yourself now and maintaining that relationship in the new year you increase the likelihood that you will be remembered as a viable candidate when a position does open up.