Thankfully I ignored that advice back in 1999, when I interviewed for and was offered my dream job at a career-focused Internet start-up just a few short weeks before Christmas.
The same can happen for you. Here are five tips for job hunting during the holiday season, with help from LinkedIn:
Get back in touch. The holidays are the perfect time to reach out and get back in touch with people you haven’t spoken to in a while, such as former colleagues, former classmates, long-lost friends and members of professional associations you used to belong to. The key with this type of outreach is to make every communication personal.
Rather than sending a blast “Happy Holidays” message or a generic e-card, write a customized note to each person (using a LinkedIn connection request if you still have the person’s email address or InMail if you are a Job Seeker Premium account holder) to show that your desire to connect is genuine. And, save the news of your job hunt for a phone or in-person conversation. Your message should look something like this:
Happy Holidays! I know it’s been a long time and I hope you’ve been doing well. I saw on your LinkedIn profile that you’ve moved on to a higher level position – congratulations! I’d love to reconnect in the New Year since we are still working in the same field. Can I give you a call or take you out for a coffee? Thanks so much and enjoy the season.
All the best,
Mix business with pleasure. In addition to reconnecting with older contacts, you’ll likely spend time over the holidays with people you see on a regular basis — friends, family and current business connections. To add a touch of professional networking to the holiday fun, check out people’s profiles on LinkedIn before heading out to a holiday party or family gathering. See what people are working on, which contacts you might have in common and where you might be able to offer them career support.
At holiday events, it’s okay to talk about your job search and be specific about what kind of position you’re looking for. Most people, especially friends and family members, are happy to help or keep an eye out for opportunities. If you do have some great career conversations over eggnog and cookies, remember to send each person a connection request (if you’re not connected already) or a LinkedIn message early in the New Year to follow up on any leads and continue the conversation.
Stand out from the crowd. Remember that myth that no one gets hired in December? Use it to your advantage! If many job seekers still pull back during December, you have a better chance of standing out to employers if you do submit an application. Any recruiter with active job openings is highly likely to check his or her inbox over the holidays, so make sure your application is there.
Go ahead and follow up your application with an additional InMail message to the recruiter as well (you can often find the job poster’s name and a link to his or her LinkedIn profile right on the job posting page). You might say something like, “I wanted to follow up my application to position #12345 with a brief note to express my interest,” and then mention something specific you’ve read about the employer, such as a positive news story, an exciting industry development, a cause they support — all of which you might learn about on the company’s website or on its LinkedIn Company Page. The process may not move forward until the New Year, but you’ll show the employer that you’re ready to hit the ground running.