Do you know why the holidays are the best time for career networking? Many people may think the contrary, so I interviewed a colleague, Marty Latman, an esteemed colleague who has some great tips for networking during the holidays.
We will uncover WHY the holidays are the best time for career networking, and then I’ll provide some additional tips for networking on and off LinkedIn.
First, meet Marty Latman, Executive Career Coach. Marty is doing a live presentation on this holiday networking topic. He will be available to answer your questions via Zoom on Saturday, November 19th, at 8:30 AM ET, but you must register by 4 PM on Friday, November 18th.
If you can’t make it, perhaps this interview I had with Marty will help.
QUESTION: What are some misconceptions that people have about holiday networking?
ANSWER: Many people think that the time between Thanksgiving and New Year is the worst time to find a position and that most executives are not considering hiring. People believe that holiday and year-end vacations are on everyone’s minds and that they are off on vacation. This time off may be the case for some, but certainly not all.
QUESTION: What is the reality of hiring at this time of year?
ANSWER: Budgets for a new year will start as the ball drops, and executives want to start the year with a full staff. Because it’s a slower time of year, many of the support staff (gatekeepers) may be on vacation, so you can reach the hiring managers more easily, especially since fewer people are looking for work due to the misconceptions and myths previously noted.
People are generally in a good mood during the holidays working from their home base area and not engaged in business travel. You will typically find executives are more available for interviews.
QUESTION: What do people need in their career toolkits for their job search?
ANSWER: First is ABP – Always be Positive! It’s essential to have a positive attitude, as honey will attract more flies than vinegar, as you know. You need to prepare an elevator pitch, which will vary depending on the audience. You also need a marketing plan and ensure your resume and LinkedIn profile are up to date. Make sure you follow up on all leads.
If networking in person, you need to have a name badge and personal business or networking cards and strategies to “work the room.” If networking online, make sure you have the Zoom app installed on your computer in case you are sent a link without a code to connect. Do you know how you are going to strategize virtual networking? You may not until you see how the meeting runs.
QUESTION: What are some ways to connect in person?
ANSWER: You might have an opportunity to set up a coffee, drink, or dining social meeting with a former supervisor or current and old friends or colleagues. There may be an industry gathering if you belong to any professional organizations. It’s a giving time of year, so volunteering to help others with an organization is a great way to meet others with a heart for your mission.
QUESTION: What are some ways to connect virtually?
ANSWER: Connect with others on social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and send them holiday greetings, so you are top of mind. Send a card, e-card, or email to companies who passed on you for interviews you had and let them know you are still interested in working for the company. Send holiday gifts or gratitude emails to anyone who helped you during the year and your friends and colleagues to update them on your job search.
QUESTION: When tips can you share when making a networking plan for this season?
ANSWER: Be selective about the events you attend, as time is limited. Before attending, find out who will be there, if possible, and reach out of LinkedIn and let them know you look forward to chatting at the event. Plan your elevator pitch and practice it. Set your goal regarding what you want to accomplish when out networking. Dress smart for the job you want, not the one you have. Look to connect with new people who can introduce you to others. Most people find jobs through networking, so introduce people in your network to others.
QUESTION: Where can you network virtually?
ANSWER: Seek opportunities for virtual events like wine tasting, cooking classes, gift wrapping, dinners, coffees, socials, and trivia and game events through meetups, Eventbrite, industry associations, old friends, former colleagues, previous bosses, etc.
Here are some of my add-on tips.
If you want to develop a target company list and need a place to gather your information, one of the Great Careers Groups’ membership benefits is we have several templates to collect information and they will come in an auto-reply at purchase.
To create a target company list, you can use the Reference Solutions database from your library and look up the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for companies in and out of your area. You will find a YouTube video presented by a Reference Solutions company manager on how to use the platform.
I have previously written an article on How to Perfect Your Elevator Pitch that you can reference. However, Marty Latman recently presented his elevator pitch formula and gave the audience three minutes to write their pitch. I loved his approach and how quick it was to develop. Here is Marty’s formula:
- Who are you and Who do you help or serve?
- What can you do for the listener?
- What results can the listener expect by working with you?
- How do others substantiate your value?
- How do you get to the next step?
- Make your pitch conversational.
Currently, there are over 875M people on LinkedIn. So, whether you are out networking in person or virtually, you need to build your professional network, so reach out and start connecting. Start building relationships. f you need to build your confidence in using the platform, there are upcoming workshops noted on the schedule below and on the Great Careers website.
Here are scripts you can use to touch base with people from your past that you are already connected with on LinkedIn.
We have not been in touch for quite some time, and I wanted to send you a note to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving. I saw your recent post on LinkedIn that … Currently I …
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! It’s been a while since we have been in touch, especially with a most unusual past 2-½ years! Have there been any changes in your life since we last touched base? Let me know if there is anyone I might introduce you to from my network. I was one of the recent layoffs at xxx, so I am reconnecting with my network. Wishing you well this holiday season!
Happy Thanksgiving! It’s been a while since we last spoke. I saw this article and thought of you. How are things? I’d love to catch up for a brief chat on the phone or via Zoom. Here’s my Calendly link if you have 10-15 minutes! [insert link]
Note that you never ask for a job, but it’s OK to state your status. Let them reach back out and offer to help.
I agree with Marty about being positive when networking. Read Networking On & Off LinkedIn Requires a Positive Mindset.
Did you read last week’s article on Want to Reinvent on LinkedIn: Veteran, Return to Work, or New Industry?
For even more ideas, you can read last year’s article on Why the Holiday Time is the Best Time to Network.
- Register on the events page for these upcoming online events.
- If you need a resume or LinkedIn profile to get you to your next step, book a call to chat!
- Fri Nov 18 – Interview Techniques
- Sat Nov 19 – LinkedIn Part 3 of 3
- Mon Nov 21 – Career Success Group Job Seeker Accountability & Networking
- Mon Nov 21 – Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
- Tues Nov 22- Annual Reviews as Career Catapults
- Tues Nov 22 – Business Executives Networking Group (BENG) Plymouth Meeting
- Wed Nov 23 – PowerThinking: Rejuvenating Your Amazing Mind Weekly Resilience Building Call-In