Holiday Executive Job Search Tips

by Meg Guiseppi on November 21, 2011

So many executive job seekers think that November and December are dead months for job search. No one’s thinking about hiring, talking about hiring, or doing any hiring, right?

That may or may not be the case. But this is a great time to lay some groundwork, make connections and possibly get a foot in the door, ahead of your competitors in the job market who are doing nothing right now and waiting for the new year to roll around.

Here’s what you can do to outdistance the competition:

NETWORK

By far the best strategy to land a job any time of year, networking can be especially fruitful during the holidays when many people, especially recruiters and hiring decision makers at your target companies, are more available.

Get busy connecting on LinkedIn. Do some back-end research first, identify people (at almost any level) at the companies you’re targeting, and work on getting into their circles. Did you know that employee referrals are the main source of hiring? Companies trust people who are referred more than those who are complete strangers, and people who refer candidates who are ultimately hired often receive a financial reward.

Try reaching out to people the day after Thanksgiving and the week between Christmas and New Years Day. Many people take those days off, but many are still working. Make a call, send an email, direct message them on Twitter . . . just get in touch.

Attend some of the charity events, and professional and community networking events so plentiful during the holiday season. The mood is usually lighter this time of year, so it may be easier to connect.

VOLUNTEER

Your favorite local non-profit or charity may need your help with their holiday-related activities. Volunteering makes you feel useful and can help you get out of yourself and change your mindset if you’ve been in a protracted, discouraging job search.

But mostly, volunteering helps people. It’s a nice thing to do — a much appreciated way to give back and position yourself as a community-minded person, which is a valued attribute to employers. Remember to add your volunteer work to your resume.

Besides, you never know who you may be working shoulder to shoulder with when you volunteer.

SEND HOLIDAY CARDS

Follow up with the people you’ve already met in your job search to keep you top of mind with them. I think snail-mailed cards are preferable over emailed ones. You know how good you feel when you get an unexpected card in the mail. Do that for your networking contacts, recruiters, hiring decision makers, etc. They’ll remember you when you call or email after the holidays.

There are always things to do when you’re looking for a job . . . no matter what time of year. It’s okay to kick back some over the holidays, but don’t stop entirely and lose momentum.

Related posts:

Today’s Executive Job Search Toolkit

How to Build a Powerful Executive Network

My ebook, 23 Ways You Sabotage Your Executive Job Search and How Your Brand Will Help You Land . . . A practical guide to executive branding, marketing your ROI value and navigating the new world of job search

photo by Meg Guiseppi

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