Many organizations host holiday networking events that offer a way for members and non-members to connect. The atmosphere at these events is usually more relaxed and the events have more of a social vibe, so people are more open to striking up conversation. This type of event can be a great way to meet people in a different field and to make new connections outside of your usual network.
The trick is to have a conversation and foster a connection with someone before asking them for advice or to meet up for coffee. Chances are, they’ll be more than happy to provide you with insights, but only if you approach it the right way. During the conversation you should mention that you’re looking for a job and provide a few details, and people will likely offer suggestions without you having to ask directly.
You can also network at your family events too, especially ones that bring a lot of family members together. Talk to your cousins, aunts and uncles, in-laws, and any other extended family members about your job searching efforts. They might be able to make a connection for you. The moral of the story – any gathering can be a potential networking opportunity, so don’t be shy.
Work on your resume and cover letters.
Since things are a bit slower over the holidays, you’ll likely have some extra time on your hands. Take this time to perfect your resume and cover letters. Make sure that your resume is up to date and typo free. Go over your bullet points to ensure that you’ve included statistics and quantifying statements to support your accomplishments. Create multiple versions of both the cover letter and resume if you’re applying to jobs in different fields. You’ll still want to tailor it a bit when you actually send it out, but having a strong base makes that easier and less time consuming.
When it gets close to the holidays, there’s a good likelihood that hiring managers and recruiters will be out of the office, so it’s not the right time to be sending emails. That doesn’t mean that you can’t draft them, however. Draft and save all of the emails you want to send out so all you have to do is hit send when the holidays are over. The best time to send them is a day or two after everyone returns to the office. This gives your email a better chance of being seen rather than being lost in an inbox that’s overflowing with unread messages.
Take time to enjoy the holidays.
It’s important that you take a step away from your job search efforts and enjoy the holidays too. Take a walk around your town and look at the lights and decorations, do some window shopping, and spend time with friends and family. If your only focus during the holidays is on a job search, you’re actually doing more harm than good. You’ll feel stressed and burnt out, and in turn that will sabotage your efforts. Self-care is incredibly important, so take a break and step away to recharge and re-focus.