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Holiday Networking: 10 Ways to Job Hunt
By Mary Jeanne Vincent

Attending holiday events is the best thing you can do for yourself during the next six weeks. Where else can you meet so many new people who can potentially contribute to your job search and in such a brief span of time? Your goal during these holiday soirees, festive potluck dinners, or open houses is to meet people and form friendly social relationships. Here’s how to do just that!

1. Attend social events and office gatherings when invited. The New Year is just around the corner and these social events could lead to exciting opportunities in January and February!

2. Get ready to shine! Anticipate the kind of questions you’ll be asked and develop a strategy for dealing with each of them. You want to appear relaxed, friendly, interested, and interesting.

3. Bring your business cards. Be ready to provide one when someone asks. Your card should include your name, address, phone number, email address, and offer information about the kind of work you do. Your cards should have the look and feel of quality since in the days ahead they will be a reminder of you.

4. Prepare your sound bite. Develop and rehearse a 15-second message to use when people ask, “What do you do?” Make it simple, funny, interesting, or intriguing. It should invite questions and make others want to spend at least a few minutes talking with you.

5. Be outgoing and friendly. Focus on other people. Set a goal for the number of people you want to reach out to at each event. Ask plenty of questions about their families, hobbies, spouses and other things that relate to their lives before and after work.

6. Avoid over-indulging in alcoholic beverages. They can prevent you from being as sharp as you need to be, and if you appear out of control you will never be recommended for anything.

7. Listen to what others say rather than worrying about what you are going to say next. People like and remember people who seem interested in them!

8. Keep the conversation brief and upbeat. Avoid monopolizing individuals. If you want to talk with someone further, say, “I’d like to get your ideas on a project I am working on. Would it be okay for me to call you next week?”

9. Ask for a business card when appropriate. Jot down notes about the person on the back of his or her card so you can easily remember them when you call to follow up.

10. Follow up with a telephone call, note, or email to those folks with whom you developed a connection. Mention something you discussed or send a link to an article you think they will appreciate.

Be sure to send the host or hostess a thank you note!

Mary Jeanne Vincent is the author of Acing the Interview tip cards featuring scripting ideas for the top 20 “killer” interview questions. Also included are tips for interviewing in the new economy, ideas for responding to illegal and trick questions, and suggestions for avoiding deadly interview mistakes. You may reach her online at

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