Holiday dinners, parties, and recitals are a great way to advance job search or career prospects. Events like these offer multiple ways to network with friends, relatives, and other professionals who work for companies that may be hiring. They're also a great way to share your career goals and create relationships that can lead to new business partnerships. Here are 4 subtle ways to network at your next holiday party:
1. Update Your Resume.
Holiday parties are often filled with unexpected guests, friends of friends, etc. If you find yourself having a great conversation with someone who is in a field you're interested in, or someone who may have a lead on a job—don't waste time! Update your resume before you go. Then, when someone says, “send me your resume” you can pull it up on your phone, send it, and confirm they received it right there. If you let too much time lapse, they may forget your conversation or your email may get lost in their in-box.
2. Keep Business Cards With You.
If you're looking for new business partnerships or marketing opportunities, keep a stack of business cards with you at all times during the holidays. You never know who you'll meet or who you'll be introduced to, so having your business and contact information at the ready will come in very handy.
3. Practice Your Elevator Pitch.
What's your story? Whether you're in the job market or not, you should be able to tell people about your background in a quick and compelling way. If you're a job seeker, include information about your key strengths, experiences, and success stories. If you're looking to grow your career or business prospects, be sure you're prepared to talk about what your business has to offer. Keep your elevator pitch positive, entertaining, and short.
4. Be Specific About What You Want.
People are more likely to follow through when you ask for something simple and specific. If you’re having a great chat with someone who works for a company you admire, ask if she’d be willing to forward your resume to the company’s HR Manager. Or, ask for an introduction to the leader of a certain department. Avoid asking for generic favors like "keep me in mind for future opportunities with your company" or "let's touch base after the first of the year." Act now, don't wait. And remember that specific, direct requests generate better results.
Happy Job Hunting!
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