Holiday Season Job-Hunting: Parties = Networking

holiday toastThe holiday season means invitations to parties and other social events. If you’re in job-search mode, you might think that your search has to be put on hold during the holiday rush.

December is actually a terrific time to network your way into a new gig. Holiday parties are a great way to expand your search, with the opportunity for face-time with people you might not run into during the other eleven months of the year. Here are our tips for job-search networking during the holiday season:

  • Accept every holiday party invitation: the more people you can connect with, the better your search network becomes. Be open to making new connections, because you never know where that connection might lead.
  • Everyone could be a lead, so put your best foot forward: introduce yourself well. Put together a 15-second “who I am and why I matter” pitch, and practice it so it comes trippingly off your tongue. Make sure to make it doubly engaging with a warm smile. Start conversations, and introduce the people you meet to other people you know. 
  • Ask for advice: if you meet someone who’s in an industry you’re interested in, or who has a role that you’d like to know more about, tell them you’d like to learn more about what they do. “I’d like your advice” is a powerful phrase, and you’ll learn plenty by asking.
  • Take notes immediately after a party: Keep an ongoing record of the people you meet, and where you met them. Write on their business cards, keeping track of conversations and topics of mutual interest. It will be invaluable when you follow up.
  • Listen: you’ve got two ears and only one mouth. Remember to use your ears twice as much as you talk. You’ll hear all kinds of useful information if you listen!
  • Be real: be natural, be conversational, be friendly. Establishing rapport with someone is easy if you ask them about themselves, and their interests. Listen to their responses, and the conversation builds organically. Don’t sound like you’re working off a script.
  • FOLLOW UP: gather business cards from the people you make a connection with, and jot some notes on each of them. Reference your meeting and conversation when you follow up, and always follow up within a week.

If you are looking for a job this holiday season, Techead has a pretty big list of opportunities in job categories from administrative to legal to finance to Java developer! Don’t forget to check out our Find a Job page frequently, because we work with some really terrific companies that are great places to work.

Another tip: don’t wait for January 1 to kick off a best-career-year-yet resolution. Take a look at our Training Calendar, and make plans now to add to your creative or technology skill-set. We’ve got courses on the entire suite of Adobe creative applications, the Titanium mobile app development platform, JavaScript, CSS and HTML/XHTML, and more.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and productive holiday season!

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