By Tim Klepaczyk
Holly, carols, cookies, Santa Claus & elves, mistletoe, Bethlehem stable figurines, fruitcakes, decorations, lights, presents, and… job search networking?
Obviously, networking is not among the traditional reminders of the holiday season. However, most of us attend one, two, or more holiday parties and meet new people this time of year. So don’t overlook the great opportunity to advance your job search. In light of this, it’s worthwhile to review some networking “dos and don’ts”, especially in the holiday context.
1) This is not the time to imbibe excessively or overeat. If you hope to make new job search connections, remember to act professionally.
2) Have some business cards with you as usual, and handing them out should be your standard MO. However, keep a few resumes in your briefcase or car in case you meet someone who requests it.
3) Remember what Dale Carnegie said, “A person’s name is to them the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Don’t tell yourself you’re no good at remembering names – you can get better at it, as I have. Tips: repeat the person’s name back to them when you are introduced, and try to use their name once (as naturally as possible) when the introduction leads to a conversation.
4) Remember, effective networking is not about getting a job. It’s about creating new connections, and is as much about giving as it is about taking. What do you have to offer your new colleagues?
5) Follow up with those who’ve given you their business card or other contact info. Probably the best time to do so is after the holidays are completely over, they’re getting back to their regular routine, and have more time to respond.
Have fun, but stay professional and give your job search another boost!
Tim Klepaczyk is an RF & microwave engineer with over 20 years of experience in applications & sales and product design & validation. He also loves writing.
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