A wonderful #HFChat follow up post from Emilie Mecklenborg:
Putting your job search on hold, makes it run cold
The lights are twinkling, the shopping mall parking lots are packed and holiday music is in the air – the holidays have officially started. While the holidays bring fun memories and exciting anticipation for the future, for someone who is job seeking, the holidays represent a pause in their job search and a stretch of time to wonder about an uncertain future. Now that holidays are here, many companies spend this time wrapping up their yearly budget, taking vacations and tying up loose ends for the year. But that’s not every company. To stay competitive in today’s job market, companies still source candidates that they plan to hire at the beginning of the New Year.
The holidays provide an excellent platform for job seekers to build a great foundation that will carry them into the New Year. Instead of hiding that you were recently laid off or are job seeking – let family and friends know that you are job seeking. Family and friends provide a great built-in network for job seekers. Also, many local industry chapters have a holiday party or end-of-the-year event and this gives job seekers a great opportunity to share information with others in their industry and make important network connections. When job seekers network they are no longer just a resume, they become a person and people naturally want to help other people.
The holiday season also provides several opportunities to volunteer. Volunteering provides a wonderful way to pay-it-forward to your community and it is a great way to network. Whether volunteering at the nearby food bank, in the church or at a local organization, you provide a much needed service to the community. It helps build your confidence and helps you understand how much you really are needed.
One way to jump start your job search while getting a foot in the door is to do seasonal work during the holidays. Taking a seasonal position over the holidays puts the job seeker front and center with customers who help them craft customer service skills, meet deadlines and handle unpredictable situations that show flexibility and leadership. The holidays give employers a nice glimpse of an employee’s work ethic and productivity. Many companies keep seasonal employees after the holidays.
Whether volunteering, attending an industry event or taking a holiday position, it is important to continue job seeking and networking. Get up, get out there and take initiative of your job search, do not stay home and wonder what will happen next. The connections and networking you do today will help you tomorrow. Sending a recruiter or hiring manager an email wishing them well over the holidays is a great way to stay top-of-mind without seeming pushy. With many people still looking for work – get an edge over the competition and build a foundation that will give you a fantastic start to the New Year.
Emilie Mecklenborg is currently leading the effort in Social Media for Kenexa with their RPO program at Ford Motor Company. Emilie manages the Ford Motor Company Careers Facebook page and the Ford Careers (@FordCareers) Twitter profile, also an avid contributor to several HR and social media Twitter chats. Over the course of her career Emilie has coached, trained, recruited, and fostered relationships with candidates and all levels of employees, driven by her passion for relationship building and empathy for job seekers. http://www.linkedin.com/in/emiliemeck
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