We hear it over and over; the holidays are a slow time of year for job hunting. Don’t believe it! As per our recent post “8 Ways To Maximize Your Job Search In December” the holiday season is a great period to look for new career opportunities. With all the holiday office parties and festive events, the month of December provides some of the best opportunities to network and build new relationships.
Feeling a little anxious when it comes to networking? (and who doesn’t!), here are a few things to keep in mind to make the most of holiday networking:
‘Tis The Season To Mingle
Accept as many party invitations as you can especially if you’re actively looking for new job opportunities. Attending holiday parties and social gatherings is a good way to follow up with people you already know such as your colleagues, clients, associates and partners but it’s also a great way to meet new people and form new relationships.
Do Your Research
Do a little research beforehand about who will be attending the party and whom you’ll want to chat with. Learn their names, recent jobs, accomplishments and hobbies. You can easily find this information by looking them up on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or even run a Google search. Use the information you find to break the ice at the party. As this is the most sociable time of the year people are more likely to be receptive, so don’t stress too much!
Ask Questions And Listen!
From the CFO all the way to the intern level, people love to talk about themselves. Use the information you’ve learned to start a conversation. Above all, make sure you listen as much as you talk! Being a great listener never goes unnoticed. Good conversation starters include: Have you read any good books lately? How have you started in the business? How was business this year? What plans do you have for next year?
Introducing yourself to an executive, a recruiter or someone you don’t know can be stressful and intimidating. To boost your confidence, make a list of your recent accomplishments prior to the party and think about ways you can naturally weave them into your conversations.
Make the most of a new connection by trying to secure a future one on one meeting. Just be careful to keep things casual– a party is a social gathering so you don’t want to look like you’re forcing things. Keep it natural and leave them intrigued.
Watch Out For Those Drinks
Be mindful of how many drinks you have – you don’t want to appear too relaxed or be the life of the party. First impressions matter, so keep your alcohol level in check and act like a professional at all times.
Dress The Part
Last but not least, whether it’s a formal or casual event, make sure you always look professional.
Do you have tips on how to make the most of holiday networking? Things that have worked for you in the past? Share away!