Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Holiday Strategies for Your Job Search

Temping though it may be, don’t stop your job search efforts just because we've moved into the holiday season.  There are still jobs available; in fact, companies may want to fill positions before the end of their fiscal year, or may want to interview for positions that will become available after the first of the year, in their new fiscal year.  This time of the year also provides unique opportunities to make new contacts.

Here are some ways to stay active over the next couple of months:

Review your search strategy.  This is a good time to evaluate your search efforts, to determine what's been working and what hasn't.  You want to focus your time and energy on activities that move you closer to your goals, and let go of things that haven't been working.  Also review your marketing materials - resume, portfolio, LinkedIn profile, to see if any updates are needed.

Polish your presence.  The holidays are also a good time to get a makeover - hair, wardrobe - to be sure you're presenting a professional, up to date image.

Follow up on any pending positions to which you've applied, or for which you've interviewed.  Reconnect with the recruiter or hiring manager to let them know you’re still interested in the position, and to see where they are in the hiring process.

Contact the third party recruiter (headhunter) you’re working with (or find one in your field), to update them on your status, and see if there are any new positions they've received for which you may be a good match.  Remember that recruiters work for their company clients, not for you, so it's up to you to keep yourself front of mind.

Keep checking job sites for your field, RIT Job Zone, and company sites for postings.  Companies may receive fewer applications as people’s minds are elsewhere, so be diligent in checking for new opportunities.

Work part-time.  The holidays often opportunities to pick up some part-time employment.  In addition to the extra money, you'll also meet coworkers and customers who may provide tips or connections for  your job search.

Volunteer.  Look for opportunities to participate in charity or community service projects.  This allows you to give back, to utilize your skills or develop new ones, and connect with other volunteers, who may know of opportunities in your field.

Step up your networking activities.  Reach out to your contacts with a holiday greeting, and a brief update on your status.  This includes your LinkedIn contacts, and the holidays may be a good time to find additional alumni contacts with whom you can reconnect.

Attend community, association, and organization holiday parties and get togethers; make it your goal to meet new people with whom you can develop a networking relationship in the new year. Ask questions and absorb information you can use later.  Don’t forget family and neighborhood parties; every get together is an opportunity to develop new contacts.  Keep things light – don’t overwhelm people with your problems or job issues; keep a few business cards handy; and always think about how you can help other people you meet.

Keeping your job search active now will put you that much further ahead when the new year begins and help you maintain a positive attitude.  Enjoy your holidays, and remember, the Career Services Office is always here to assist with your job search efforts!

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