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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 15, 2016

The holidays are a time when things tend to slow down. People travel, take time off, and some companies even temporarily shut down.  However, there are ways to maximize your job search during this time of year.  Here are five strategies to make the most of this holiday season:

  1. Personalized holiday messages – Send a personalized “Happy Holidays” message to contacts in your network, especially those working at your target companies. Add a quick note reiterating your interest in their company and list relevant things about your most recent accomplishments.  Use this time when they might not be as busy to ask them to meet for a cup of coffee or talk over the phone.
  2. Leverage holiday parties and gatherings – If organizations you belong to are having holiday parties, RSVP as soon as you get the invitation and make sure to attend. Use the holidays to meet people and expand your network.  Be sure to have plenty of business cards in your possession at all times.
  3. Out with the old and in with the new – Update your job search plan, résumé, personal branding, social media, and other tools you are utilizing to find employment. Add relevant projects and accomplishments to your brand.  Expand your target company list and eliminate ones you’ve worked through.  Use government-issued SIC and NAICS codes to identify competitor
    s of companies you’ve eliminated from your target list.
  4. Are you traveling for the holidays? – If you are traveling, check LinkedIn and see if there are contacts in your destination area that you might want to meet.
  5. Leverage your current contacts – Use the break to reconnect with old colleagues, high school and college alumni, friends, and extended family. Let everyone know you are job hunting and what you are looking for.  This is a great way to add people to your network.

Last but not least, remember that people are much more willing to help when you show you are excited and create positive energy.  Make sure your attitude reflects this joyous and giving time of the year.  Happy Holidays!

Dana C. Romano is the Associate Director of Career Management at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.  With a combined 30+ years of both corporate human resource and career management experience, Dana proudly shares her professional strategies and career expertise with her MBA, MS, and EMBA students.  Her strategies have helped students achieve excellent placement results for over 15 years.