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Samantha Greenfield

The holidays can be a great networking opportunity for job seekers!

Believe it or not, approximately 80 percent of jobs are filled through networking of some type. These hidden jobs are never even publicly advertised, they are filled through word of mouth and "somebody knowing somebody." What this means to the job seeker is you have got to build a strong network of contacts that can assist you in finding those "hidden jobs."

A great way to cultivate your network is at large family gatherings and corporate holiday parties. Most people think of networking through traditional channels such as family and close friends, but holiday parties are social events in which you can network with people you would not normally ever get exposure to. Anyone and everyone you meet could lead to a potential job opportunity. Some tips for successful networking during the holiday season:

  1. Introduce yourself to as many people as possible and share a friendly conversation with those you already know. The more eyes and ears you have on the street looking for opportunities, the better off you will be.
  2. Know your limit! Don't indulge in too many drinks. You want to make sure that you are always professional and friendly because you never get a second chance to make a good first impression!
  3. Be confident in your value. Make sure you are aware of what kinds of knowledge, skills and abilities you have to offer. What makes you different from the umpteen other people out there in the job market?
  4. Don't walk away without contact information. In order to successfully grow your network, you have to build a relationship with people. Getting people's e-mail address and phone numbers will help you to continue the lines of communication long after the holiday party is over.

Don't let your unemployment ruin the spirit of the season. Even if you do not have a giant sack of gifts this year, your family and friend see your value! Give your time and attention to those who matter most!

Happy Holidays,

Workshop for Dec. 12-16

Tuesday Dec. 13 at 9 a.m. How to prepare for a behavioral interview with a group mock interview exercise.

All workshops offered at the Virginia Employment Commission are free and on a walk-in basis. We encourage everyone to take advance of the re-employment services offered right here in our community!


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