The holidays can be a depressing time to be a job seeker, as employers tend not to post jobs between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Don't get too down though -- this is a terrific time to network and expand your list of contacts.
Holiday parties aren't just for fruit cake and cocktails; they are for collecting business cards. Ask around about any upcoming events that are open to non-employees and GO! Come armed with business cards (make your own at home if you're not currently employed) and pass them out like it's your job -- 'cause it is! When you receive someone's business card, be sure to write down where you met them and anything noteworthy that you discussed. Ask if you can send a follow up email or take them to coffee in the near future.
Don't be embarrassed about being unemployed or looking for a job -- we've all been there and chances are, people are more than happy to help. Tell one and all what you are looking to do next. Make sure you have your sales pitch down; nothing is more important than selling yourself! Be as specific as possible. For instance, saying, I want to work in development for an advocacy organization will give people a lot more to work with than just saying, I want to get in to fundraising.
Finally, use holiday cards to your advantage. They are a great way to stay in touch with old contacts and to keep your name on the forefront of someone's mind. A simple, "Hope to see you in the New Year" will suffice for getting back in touch.
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