December 21, 2010

Five Ways to Make the Most of the Holidays if You’re Job Hunting

Are you job-hunting this holiday season? While taking time off from the search to spend the holidays with friends and family members is definitely deserved, don’t overlook some awesome networking opportunities that might arise.

With all the good cheer in the air, a holiday miracle could land you the job of your dreams. Here are five ways to make the most of this time of year so you can be secure in a job by 2011:

1. Carry your business cards.

Cocktail party at your neighbor’s house? Dinner with your parents? Skiing with some friends? Wherever you go, carry your business cards. If you’re trying to find a job, it pays to have a card handy should you need one. Sure, Great-Uncle Bob may not be in a position to hire you, but he might have a third cousin he’s seeing later this week that can. Don’t be afraid to make it well known that you’re job hunting, and give family members a few of your cards if they might know someone who would be interested.

2. Stay classy.

Everyone overindulges a bit now and then, but if you plan to have any alcohol during the holidays, make sure that you don’t do anything that could end up on Facebook. Yes, hiring manager do check social media sites when they are making hiring decisions, so if there’s a picture of you stumbling down the stairs after one too many glasses of eggnog, you could be passed up for the position.

3. Chat up retail employees.

During the holidays, retail workers are used to dealing with cranky customers. By friendly instead! Ask them if they like their job, and don’t be afraid to mention that you’re looking. Most will tell you right away if they know of a store that is hiring, even if its not the one where they’re working. Of course, don’t hold up the line or keep them from their work…but a few minutes of conversation can go a long way in finding you a job working in retail.

4. Be someone’s office party date.

If you’re single and have some single friends, offer to serve as a date to their office holiday party. Many corporations hold large parties where spouses, significant others, and dates are invited, and while you’re there, you can connect with some of the top people in that company. It is the holidays, so avoid too much business talk, but don’t be afraid to collect some cards or hand out a few of your own.

5. Use the time off to work on your resume.

You might not be able to find new job listings or make phone calls over the holidays, but you can take this opportunity to work on your resume. Proofread it. Edit the text to delete anything that is too wordy. Make sure the formatting is perfect. If you’ve applied for a number of jobs and haven’t heard back, maybe now’s the time to scrap that resume completely and try something brand new – the same information, but presented in a different way. Don’t spend all weekend working, but giving it a glance between opening presents can’t hurt!

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