Most people spend the majority of their lives just going through the motions. We get so caught up on our daily activities and doing life that when we are faced with the challenges that are often associated with finding a new job that we feel lost or overwhelmed. Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to look at some simple tips that you can use to help prepare the next time you in the job market.
Tips for a Holiday Job Search
♦ Employers hire all 12 months of the year. In fact, many new positions are funded to start with a new budget year — which often coincides with a new calendar year. So don’t put off your job search until January.
♦ The holidays offer natural networking opportunities — say “Yes!” to invitations to company parties, social gatherings, and end-of-the-year professional association events.
♦ Take the opportunity to re-connect with old friends and colleagues. Send a holiday card to previous co-workers and supervisors, people from high school and college, former neighbors, etc.
♦ Volunteer! There are many opportunities during the holidays to give your time to charities. Some of these opportunities might help you build your network, make new connections, and can be added to your résumé.
♦ Make sure you’re reachable during the holidays! You may be asked to interview at unusual times — for example, on Black Friday. Keep your phone on, and make sure you’re checking your email and voice mail regularly.
♦ Take stock of where you are right now. Keep a success journal. Take the time to record your accomplishments as you go through the year.
♦ Decide where you want to go. What does your goal look like? Spell it out in detail: your job responsibilities, your desired salary, what kind of projects you would be working on.
♦ Develop a game plan to reach your goal. What do you need to do to get from where you are now to where you want to be?
♦ Brainstorm a specific list of steps to take to execute your game plan. Ask someone to be your accountability partner to help you on your path to achieve your goal.
♦ Conduct a monthly or quarterly “check up” to review your plan and make any necessary changes.
♦ To increase your chance of getting a job offer, research the company before you apply for a position. Review the company’s website, Google the company, check out the company’s social media presence, and see if the company is profiled on Glassdoor.com.
♦ When you’re contacted for an interview, be sure to get the name of the person — or people — who will be interviewing you. Conduct a Google search on your interviewer and look him or her up on LinkedIn.
♦ If possible, choose an optimal slot for your interview time. An earlier slot will help you avoid an interviewer who is suffering from “interview fatigue” if he or she is conducting a large number of interviews.
♦ Make sure you arrive on time for your interview, and allot enough time for the interview.
♦ Research the company so you can dress appropriately for your interview. In general, “overdress” rather than “underdress.”
♦ Bring a couple of extra copies of your résumé and a copy of your references to your interview.
♦ Prepare 3-5 questions you can ask in the interview.
♦ Be sure to get contact information for anyone who interviews you so you can send a thank you note.
♦ Prepare a “closing statement” for your interview — be ready to summarize (in 90 seconds or less) why you are a good fit for the position.
♦ At the end of the interview, be sure to ask what the next step is.