Using networking and speculative approaches as pro-active job searching techniques are a great way to source opportunities especially at Christmas time. As this time of year is renowned for being quieter on the recruitment front this is a great opportunity to re-connect and start having some good conversations about plans and goals for 2017.
By networking, you can learn about job opportunities that you may not otherwise be aware of, receive advice and information from fellow colleagues or contacts and ultimately be more informed about the job market you are searching in.
Keep an open mind – Everyone you know is potentially an important member of your network, they could be someone in the queue at Starbucks or someone you worked with on a four week contract that you only spoke to briefly; even if they are not directly involved in your field, they may know somebody that is. Take the opportunity to attend Christmas parties, Carol services and even your child’s nativity to re-connect with your network, you never know who you may end up speaking to and what they could potentially help you with in the New Year. Don’t hold any expectations. This way you will not appear desperate and will be able to approach people with a relaxed attitude, and enjoy the event with the intention to simply meet people.
Stay in touch – Don’t be afraid to offer your card to a potential contact or ask for theirs, connect with them on sites such as LinkedIn (keeping it professional) and make sure you keep in contact with them. Send them a follow up email to see how they’re getting on after Christmas or to wish them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and let them know how you’re doing too.
Don’t use your network just for job hunting - Everybody gets fed up with the friend or family member that only gets in touch when they want something, and the same goes for network contacts. If you only get in contact with someone if you’re looking for a job, it could not only make them aware of how often you are out of a job (if that is the case) but will also make them feel a little used. Networking isn’t just about job hunting, it’s about finding contacts in a similar field or position, or with similar interests. And don’t forget that it’s a two-way system, your advice or help might be needed too.
By speculatively approaching organisations at this time of year, you can get ahead of those people who may have decided that they want to find a new job in 2017. Lots of people stop searching at this time of year, however this could be a great opportunity for you to pro-actively approach the organisations you are interested in working for, before the jobs become available. Employers are likely to keep your CV on file and when a role does come up they will be more inclined to look at the CVs they already have before advertising or searching for more potential candidates, putting you at the top of their list.
Conduct research - Some companies will post yearly round ups on their websites in the form of “blogs” or “news” to highlight the successes they have had over 2016. You can use this information as a talking point at the beginning of your speculative letter to grab their attention and show your interest in their success and how you could contribute positively to their plans for the coming year.
Christmas may seem like a good opportunity to wind down and stop searching and many people decide to pick up the job search again in the New Year, however, for those of you who are wanting to get a head start, use this time productively to be more pro-active and get yourself noticed whilst there is less competition out there and to get yourself into a much stronger position heading into 2017.
For those already in a job it can sometimes prove difficult to find the time to job search. The Christmas period is a great time to dedicate some time to the job search so you can re-evaluate, research companies/ jobs and bring your CV up to date.
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