The time period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s can be a networking jackpot for job seekers.  Many of you reading this may wonder how that is possible because it’s always been said that Thanksgiving through New Years is a slow time of year.  That may be true when it comes to companies making offers and hiring, but it’s not true when it comes to networking.

So what’s the jackpot for job seekers?   Holiday parties.  Think about all of the people you will be or can be meeting when you attend holiday parties.  It’s a relaxed and cheerful environment and a fantastic way to make connections.

This holiday season, try out some of these networking strategies when attending a holiday party or event.

  1. Show up early and get a jump start on mingling with others.  Starting a friendly conversation before everyone else arrives can lead to additional conversations later on at the party.
  2. Don’t push yourself onto someone and try to sell yourself.  Try to find a common interest and have a casual conversation.  Who wants to go to a party and feel like someone is selling them something?
  3. If you have business cards, it’s a good idea to bring some along.  I wouldn’t suggest handing out business cards as soon as you meet someone.  Either wait until someone asks you if you have a business card, or if you connected with that person, offer your card towards the end of the party.
  4. Prepare an elevator speech for when you are asked “what do you do?” or “what is your line of business?”  Start off with some highlights of your background and experience and then mention you are in the job market.
  5. If some of your friends and family are not aware of your employment situation, a holiday party is an opportunity for you to let them know.

Take advantage of holiday parties this year and remember Tis the season to be networking!

For more info: JobSearchingStrategies.com, Pittsburgh’s Ultimate Career Connection, Who’s Hiring in Pittsburgh, Free Tips Newsletter

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