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13 Ways To Successfully Job Hunt During the Holidays

Job hunting is always a rough road but the holiday season requires you to implement an even more strategic approach. Here are some basic principles and concrete steps to take for making the most of the special opportunities that exist at this time of year.

Basic Principles for Holiday Job Hunting

1. Recognize that people's schedules may be more irregular than usual. During the holiday season it's important to keep in mind that people may be out of the office more. Avoid becoming anxious just because your phone calls or emails fail to get returned promptly.

2. Be gentle with yourself. For all the joy, the holidays can be an emotionally intense period under the best of circumstances. Take it easy on yourself when you're trying to cope with the financial and psychological impact of being unemployed.

3. Nourish your spirits. Devote some regular time to activities that help you feel better. It will make it easier to project a positive attitude that improves your chances for a getting a job offer. Get plenty of physical exercise to help stay energized.

What will nourish your spirits when anxious or responses are slow: ____________________.

4. Take a long-term perspective. It's common for job searches to take longer than usual these days. Set incremental goals so you can acknowledge the progress while you're waiting for a job offer.

What are your goals: ____________________.

5. Welcome the reduced competition. By continuing your job search towards the end of the year, you distinguish yourself from all those who may be tempted to take a hiatus. You might find that fewer applicants are coming forward for the openings that interest you.

Holiday Job Hunting Strategies

1. Network more. It's a great season for networking. Accept party invitations. Talk with more new people. A good lead can come from unexpected sources. Volunteer work is another way to meet new people and try out new experiences.

Who and what are on your list: ____________________.

2. Reestablish old connections. Send out cards and make some phone calls. Sending holiday greetings gives you a ready-made reason to get in touch without putting people off by asking about job prospects directly.

Who can you think of: ____________________.

3. Consider a temporary position. Many companies hire temporary help this time of year. It could be a great way to pick up some extra cash and expand your skills.

What temporary work would you do: ____________________.

4. Encourage gifts that will help your job search. If people ask you what you want for Christmas, volunteer that you appreciate anything to help with your job search. It could be something like a gift certificate for a store that specializes in office wear.

What gifts would be most helpful: ____________________.

5. Devote more time to research. If things slow down, use this extra time wisely. Go online or visit the library to research potential employers and industry trends.

What do you want to learn more about: ____________________.

6. Update your resume. This may also be a good time to review your written materials like resumes and cover letters. Look for ways to tweak your content to highlight your strong points and the contribution you could make to a potential employer.

What can you add or update: ____________________.

7. Learn new skills. You may also want to focus on mastering some new skills. Public libraries often offer free computer courses or workshops with experts who can assist you with your plans to start a small business of your own.

What new skills do you want to learn: ____________________.

Where is it offered: ____________________.

8. Make plans for the year ahead. Keep your hopes up by planning for the year ahead. Set monthly goals for your job search. Make contingency plans so you'll feel more secure. Visualize finding the career opportunity that you seek.

What are your plans: ____________________.

It may feel especially unpleasant to be unemployed during the holidays when the rest of the world seems to be celebrating. Be kind to yourself to manage your emotions and relieve stress while you play an active role in building a better career future.

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