How to Professionally Network at Family Holidays

High Point University HPU Melniczek

By: Eric Melniczek, HPU Career Advisor

 

The holidays are fast approaching! During this time of the year, there are many parties and events which offer opportunities to catch up with family and friends. These get-togethers are also ideal locations for job seekers to establish connections and identify potential leads. Here are few techniques a job seeker can implement to be ultra-successful this upcoming holiday season:

  • First, remember the Pareto principle (80/20 rule): As you approach a friend or family member, make 80% of conversation about your networking contact and 20% on yourself. In other words, ask a lot of questions and spend a lot of time listening. The number one person that people like to talk about is themselves; therefore, take a sincere interest in others and it will leave a positive impression on them in the future about you.
  • Next, do not share a resume at one of these parties; instead, provide a business card to your contact. The business card should have your name, telephone number, e-mail address and a web address for your LinkedIn profile. Ask your contact for his or her business card as well. Use the back of your contact’s business card to jot down notes following your conversation with him or her. Also, ask him or her for their preferred method of communication. Whether it is e-mail, work landline, or work cell, circle that information on the card.
  • Then, follow-up via e-mail or phone to gather additional information from your contact. Utilize your notes from the back of the business card during your follow-up. That way, you know how to follow up after the initial conversation.
  • After the holidays, connect with your contacts via LinkedIn. Many companies have referral programs. You can use your network to speak with contacts about potential career opportunities at their companies. You can enhance your chance of being selected for an interview when you have an endorsement from an employee of the company. Take the initiative, be yourself, and stay positive!
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