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Party your way to a new job
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January 02, 2009

Don't give up job hunt during the holiday season, for this can be the best time for developing contacts and landing a job, say experts.

With all the partying, socialising and merry-making, networking has to be the prime objective of the job-hunting people.

Experts have offered some tips that might just work for job seekers.

Do your research before going to a holiday party.

According to Lynne Waymon, co-author of Making Contacts Count, find out what type of people are attending, are they the ones you want to meet?

If you're attending a party thrown by a professional group, you can ask for the list of people attending them and search for the name of the group's board of directors before the event. They are the people you want to meet, because they are largely involved in the industry, and are also likely have a lot of useful contacts. 

"Good networks are very intentional," the Daily Telegraph quoted Waymon as saying. "Give a lot of attention to details, especially surrounding names," she added.

Arriving a little earlier would make it easier for you to get time with the party's hosts and the board of directors. Also for those who feel shy about meeting strangers, meeting the relevant people when the crowd is small is much easier to manage.

"If you wait for someone else to start talking, you might be waiting all day," said Andrea Nierenberg, who wrote Million Dollar Networking.

Keep your topics ready for discussion, such as asking what they're doing for the holidays, whether they're taking a holiday or what they've been working on lately.

"Trust is built as you exchange information and resources. That's what makes people want to hire you or refer you. They want to see your character and competence," said Nierenberg.

~ Don't start a conversation by saying you're unemployed.

~ Always carry a business card.

~ If you're unemployed, create a card with your name, email and phone number.

If you meet someone you do want to speak more with, ask if he or she would like to continue the conversation over coffee when the holidays are over. If that feels too bold, follow up by answering some type of question that person had.



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