Networking, Follow-up Key to Job Hunt

During this busy holiday season, it’s great to be part of the Help a PR Pro Out chat and online initiative this Wednesday at 9 PM Eastern Time. All communications professionals looking for jobs should tune in to Twitter for an hour of online networking and connecting (hashtag #happo).

Before, during and after the HAPPO chats, it’s critical to always be building and maintaining key relationships. Are you doing all you can to build and maintain relationships with communication and business people in your chosen market or field of expertise? Professional organizations such as PRSA, IABC and AMA take a break from formal presentations but might have a holiday function. This is a good chance to meet professionals on a less formal basis and even for students to build their networks. Check websites for local events.

If you’re home for the holidays schedule some informational interviews with local professionals. Most are more than willing to take time for a student or professional who wants to grab a cup of coffee. Think about your questions before you come…and don’t forget the thank you!

And, speaking of thank you…those two simple words mean so much and help you stand out. If you interview for a job you particularly want, think about how yours will stand out. Two from my food PR days I still remember:

  • Prospect interviewing to work on Beef Industry Council account delivered some homemade beef carpaccio

  • Another added to my collection of pencils (yeah, I know) by making a pencil top plate of the food clients

Since it’s the holidays, think about how you can give back this season to show your experience and commitment to your community. Offer your communication skills to help out the existing team. There are countless food banks, shelters and organizations busy gathering donations and running programs to help those less fortunate.

A vacation during the holidays can also provide a great opportunity to prepare for a post-holiday push.

  • Brush up on your interviewing skills with a family member.

  • Review your resume

  • Enhance your portfolio – online or printed

  • Research and review information about companies where you want to work

  • Get ahead on some blog posts (do as I say, not as I do)

Use the downtime to your advantage. Be a little introspective and review your goals. How will you be preparing for the 2011 job search? What has worked for you?

Previous posts about job searches:

The First Move is Yours

Job Hunting Takes Time and Effort

Job Seeking Tips for PR Pros

Happo-nings at PRSA

Go Beyond HAPPO

The Barber Group

Gig Harbor, Washington


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