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Thursday, December 15, 2011 ■ Page 15 Networking Tips for the Holidays

Batson recommends including a copy of your resume, if appropriate. “Also, because it’s a season of gift-giving, it’s a nice gesture to send a small gift with your thank-you letter to the most important networking contacts, if it’s within your budget,” she says.

By KIM ISAACS Monster Resume Expert

be merry and enjoy a well-earned break until the new year. But if you’re job searching, it’s also a great time to kick your job search into high gear. Believe it or not, the holiday season can be a promising time to secure a new position. “Companies ... want to start the new year with the right talent on board before the fi rst week of January,” says Kim Batson, a career-management coach with more than 10 years of career coach- ing experience. She adds that because so many people believe it’s better to post- pone job searching until January, there’s less competition during the holidays. So if you’re wondering how to get a jump on the competition as well as get your resume noticed during the holi- days, consider these tips.

ployer-sponsored party or some other holiday event, make the most of social gatherings by planning in advance. “Set a goal to meet, connect with and learn from three to fi ve people at an event,” advises Andrea Nierenberg, a New York City-based speaker and trainer and au- thor of Million Dollar Networking. “Do your research before going so you know something about those you might meet.” Beverly Harvey, president of Bev-

erly Harvey Resume & Career Service, stresses the importance of quality versus quantity when networking at holiday events. “Develop several good, solid re- lationships instead of trying to develop many relationships that won’t be valu- able,” she says. Conversations should be focused on

Network at holiday events Whether you’re attending an em-

Ah, the holidays — a time to rejoice,

the person you’re speaking with, not you and your job search — that can come later, after trust has been built. “When fi rst introduced to the contact you want to speak with, show genuine interest in their lives, interests and careers,” Batson says.

your resume. “Do not bring resumes to holiday functions,” cautions Nierenberg. The goal is to start building rapport and setting the stage for future follow up.

“Try to target the decision makers — it’s a very sociable time of the year, and managers are more likely to be receptive to job seekers than at other

times of the year.” – Beverly Harvey Resume & Career Service President Beverly Harvey

cards that relay your career fi eld and ar- eas of expertise. “Job seekers might want to use a business card that states their personal brand, i.e., ‘Sally Smith, Human Resource Director, Specialist in Diversity Issues’ or ‘Tom Taylor, Operations Man- ager, Global Supply Chain Effi ciency Ex- pert,’” says Batson.

Follow up with contacts

After the event, Nierenberg recom- mends sending a handwritten, person- alized thank-you note to each contact.

You can, however, give out business This is also not the time to whip out

reach out to people in your network and potential employers. “It all starts with re- lationships — don’t do a mass mailing to everyone,” advises Nierenberg. “Take the time to call some people, attend events and parties, and connect with people to discuss job opportunities.” Harvey’s advice: “Try to target the decision makers — it’s a very sociable time of the year, and managers are more likely to be receptive to job seekers than at other times of the year.” Harvey suggests creating a new re-

Network purposefully The holidays are a perfect time to

Harvey. While this type of resume isn’t as targeted as a traditional resume, it allows networking contacts to understand your career fi eld. In addition, listing desired employers and industries may spark your contacts’ memories about a related job opportunity or networking lead.

staying in touch with and strengthening your network over time. “Find creative ways to stay on someone’s radar screen,” she advises. “Set a search engine alert — research your contacts and their in- terests, and stay in touch that way.” Harvey encourages job seekers to

sume version for networking contacts who don’t necessarily have a job opening. “Create a one-page resume that high- lights your most important skills, quali- fi cations and career history, as well as industries or companies of interest,” says

continue communicating with their net- work into the new year. “If there’s been some change in your status, send an updated resume with a note about your new accomplishment,” she says. You can also implement a method to

Keep your network going Nierenberg is a strong proponent of

manage contacts. “It doesn’t matter if you’re using contact-management soft- ware, a spreadsheet, a handwritten chart or an old Rolodex — do what works for you and keeps you on track with your networking,” says Harvey.

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