Business Tips / Careers and Work

Holiday Job Search, Ho, Ho, Ho, What to Do?

The Twelve Action Steps of Christmas By Dicky Sykes

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Once we say goodbye to ghost and goblins, its seems that job seekers say goodbye to active job interviewing and preparation but  just maybe this is the perfect time to get your foot in the door.  Whatever you do, don’t stop preparing for and seeking out job opportunities. 

In the next couple of weeks, people will be taking time off to travel near and far to visit family and friends for the holiday season. Hours will be spent eating leftovers, crowding malls, playing football and lounging around large flat screened televisions.  There is a lull in job seeker activity, which gives you the perfect opportunity to pounce. Holiday parties, gift giving and tides of well wishes will be spoken around offices. The atmosphere will be relaxed and congenial.  This is the perfect time to pull out your strategic job search list and call, visit and try to schedule an informational interview.  Interviewing is like any other skill, the more you practice using the correct techniques, the better you’ll become.

Interviewing is like dating, success is in the numbers.  The more dates you have, the greater your chances of finding a mate (that’s why dating sites are so popular- they increase your odds).  The more interviews you have, increases your odds of getting hired.   You’re in luck because some of the best employers in America are hiring.  The following companies have immediate job openings: Ernst and Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Whole Foods Market, Marriott International, Intel, Baptist Health South Florida and many others. I went online for you and saw thousands of job openings but I’ll warn you, many of the jobs are not for the unskilled. To read the complete list of companies that are hiring log onto www.cnnmoney.com.  This is what you should do this holiday season:

1.            Seriously evaluate and consider relocating.  You may have to go where the jobs are.

2.            Research companies to get to know the needs of the organization.

3.            Determine how your skills, talent and qualifications meet the organization’s needs.

4.            Seek out a mentor and/or someone who has insider knowledge to help you get in front of the right people.

5.            Use social networking strategically, not just to post holiday pictures.

6.            Develop and practice your elevator pitch; be able to toot your own horn confidently.

7.            Prepare quality job interview questions.

8.            Use mirror imaging to practice your pitch and evaluate your physical appearance and body language.
 
9.            Talk about your skills, talent and qualifications to family members.  Have them interview you.  If you can impress them, you’ll be able to impress a panel of interviewers.

10.          If a company that is hiring is located near you, be bold and go to their location.

11.          Show up totally prepared; meaning appropriately dressed, well groomed and carrying your error free resume.

12.          Set-up informational interviews.

An informational interview offers a better understanding of the industry or organization you are considering for employment.   An informational interview is an opportunity to enlarge your professional networking circle and practice interviewing techniques. During it you should obtain valuable current information about a particular industry or organization to determine if it matches what you’ve heard, read or think you know.

It is a tremendous opportunity to discover the organization’s needs and where the industry is going and what type of skills and qualifications you would need to get hired.  Do not use it as an opportunity to sell yourself.

In most instances, it is who you know or who knows you that gets your face in front of hiring managers.  During the holiday season ask family, friends, colleagues, former employers, teachers, alumni, community job placement services, trade and professional organizations and religious leaders for an informational interview or referral.  Call companies directly.   Prepare for the informational interview the same way you would a real interview.  Be passionate, prepared and blow them away with your quality questions.  After the interview, write and mail not email, a thank you letter and keep in touch.  When a position becomes available that interviewer will remember you.

Connect with Dicky Sykes at http://www.examiner.com/x-73332-Atlanta-Career-Advice-Examiner and leave a comment telling me how you’re going to continue your job search this holiday season.

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