Holiday Season: Time for Parties - and Job Hunting!
Holiday Season: Time for Parties - and Job Hunting!

The Holiday Season can be a good time to find a new job!  Professional get-togethers, office parties, and year-end meetings abound during the Holiday Season.

As companies complete their financial planning for 2018, they're under pressure to fill certain openings or risk losing budgets. Hiring managers with new goals are eager to find productive workers.

Several organizations interview in December for positions starting in the New Year.  Some successful candidates begin new jobs between Christmas and New Year. Starting work during the holidays can be a bonus. The work pace is usually slower, and new employees have time to settle in.

Holiday Job Search Tips

Be prepared. Know yourself and job target. Specify your preferred job title and industry, your special skills and accomplishments, and what you can offer the company (value added). Match your qualifications to employers' needs. Know key industry words to describe your skills.

- Investigate jobs and prospective employers. Consider small and medium-sized companies. Check the classifieds, online job boards, local newspapers, business and trade publications, and company websites. Use search engines to learn about organizations and identify decision makers of desired companies.

- Use social media. Build an on-line professional profile on LinkedIn and Twitter to expand your network. Employers research potential candidates. Ensure information about your professional accomplishments and background is current. Keep personal life private. Ensure privacy settings are secure.

Consider industry-related Twitter chats to communicate with the right people. Share information by re-tweeting and forwarding links or articles.

- Prepare an elevator speech. This mini speech introduces you and what you like about the organization. Describe your experience, accomplishments and skills, and demonstrates your value added. Introduce yourself over the phone, in person, and at professional or other gatherings.

Call hiring managers. Before phoning, investigate the organization and hiring manager. Ask for five minutes. Give your speech conversationally demonstrating how you can help resolve employer challenges like save money or manage people. Be friendly, genuine.

- Create a separate resume for each job target. Also, design a business card that highlights areas of expertise and directs recipients to your resume in an accessible format, such as the URL for a web page.

- Network at holiday events. Attend as many functions as possible. Include events sponsored by professional associations and Chambers of Commerce. Ask for invitations to friends' company functions. Go with the objective of catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. You may learn about a great position before it's advertised.

- Present a professional image. Dress conservatively and stay sober. Discuss business in general terms. Talk about industry trends, and what you contribute to your profession.

Be sociable, informal. Don't aggressively ask for employment information. When work topics come up, casually mention your job search. Discreetly exchange business cards with professional contacts. Follow-up with phone calls in the New Year.

- Send holiday greeting cards and emails. Mail these to well connected friends and work-related contacts. To be culturally sensitive use generic cards with messages like "Season's Greetings." Write a short note and sign your name. Mail cards early in the season.

- Volunteer. You'll meet new people, learn about job opportunities, and gain experience and confidence.

- Take a survival job. Temporary work can stretch finances and may lead to a permanent job. Employers often need temporary help as they try to complete annual goals with regular employees wanting vacation time.

- Maintain a flexible schedule. Allocate time for job search, relaxation, and holiday celebrations. Be available, adaptable. A prospective employer may unexpectedly call. If you're accessible, you have an advantage.

- Follow-up.  Contact hiring managers within two weeks of sending correspondence. A brief phone call reasserting your interest and strong qualifications for the position is effective.

- Persist. You may get your Christmas wish.

Dr. Carole Kanchier is a registered psychologist, coach, speaker, internationally syndicated columnist, and author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Your Life: Contact: