Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Break – Make the Most of It!

Ahh…. holiday vacation…a time for lounging around, eating goodies,  sleeping late and just vegging at home, right? Think again! Whether you are graduating next spring or looking for a co-op in upcoming quarters, holiday break is the perfect time to kick your job search into gear. Take advantage of your down-time and a more relaxed atmosphere to put yourself a step ahead of the competition by considering the following tips:

  • Do some company research; find out what’s new in your field - what are some of the “hot industries” to explore? Consider all industries, not just the one(s) you’re interested in, and also look at non-profits and government to uncover possible employers.
  • Review and update your resume – get some input and feedback from family, friends and neighbors to help critique and make suggestions.
  • Find a professional in your field and set up an informational interview or shadow someone for a day to help you better shape your career goals.
  • Now is the perfect time to look for a mentor – someone with whom you can establish an on-going relationship and who will continue to give you career guidance and advice throughout the process and in the future.
  • Ask your parents for help with brainstorming ideas, uncovering new leads and discussing career goals. Really, they might surprise you!
  • Network – use all of those holiday gatherings as opportunities to connect with neighbors, friends, former teachers, etc. Check out other networking events at home that might put you in contact with people in the community who might be able to help you. Put that “60 second commercial” to good use in all social and professional situations!
  • Volunteer! Helping others by giving your time not only makes you feel good, but can potentially lead to some good personal connections and/or give you a chance to gain some additional professional experience to enhance your resume.
  • Sending out cards or email greetings this year? Writing thank you notes? Include a note to let others know you are on the job hunt and to keep you in mind if they come across anything that might be of interest.
  • While you have a little more free time on your hands, familiarize yourself with some of the social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook – how can using these sites help you with your job search?
  • Check out some job search sites you haven’t used before like Vault,,,,  – are there any sites specific to your field?
  • Take advantage of those after Christmas sales to find some good discounts on clothes to wear to an interview.
  • And finally, make it your New Year’s resolution to get organized and get that job search in motion. Happy New Year!!

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