Making the Most of the Holiday Season

The holiday season is here! Times of good cheer, holiday parties (at the office and friends’ homes), gift purchasing and giving/receiving….and a GREAT time to finally get some work done!

Anaheim recruiters

Work in December often slows down as you and your colleagues think ahead to the 25th. That’s why this month can be a terrific time to focus on what you need to do to improve your skill sets, catch up on networking, revamp your resume, and so on.

Take a look below for how to use the slower days at work this month to improve your job/career prospects.

  1. Use holiday parties to best networking advantage.

While you won’t want to network blatantly for new job opportunities at your office/professional parties, you will want to ask people what they do for a living, maybe talk shop if it interests you and (most importantly) get their contact information so that you can follow up with them later.

Just about everyone is in a great mood at holiday parties and well may be in a “giving” mood, so don’t be shy about asking to meet later.

(Important tip: don’t drink too much – or at all – at your company’s holiday hullabaloo or at networking events. It may be a party, but you’re there in a professional capacity.)

In fact, instead of “networking,” think of the parties as a way to make new or build upon existing relationships. Relationships, after all, are what truly make the world go round, whether in our personal or professional lives.

  1. Update your resume to include recent accomplishments.

The slower times could be the perfect opportunity to update your resume. However, while it may be slower at work, be very careful: don’t write your resume at work. Don’t print it out there, either. Take notes, writing them down for working at home later when you’ll do the actual revamping.

You may be too busy when home with holiday preparations (why is it the holidays seem so jam packed at home but slow at work….) but if you have time off between December 25 and January 1, use the quiet break in the hubbub to think about what you want to accomplish professionally in the coming year.

  1. Updated your skills.

If things are slow at work, ask your boss if you could take an online course, certificate program, etc. during office hours. Your boss/company may be happy to pay/help pay for these courses. If not, there are many free ones online.

  1. Look for work.

If the idea of returning to this particular employer in 2019 is ruining the holidays for you, start looking for a new opportunity (during your off hours, of course)! It’s a big myth that “no one hires during the holidays.” Instead, hiring managers often have to fill empty positions before the end of the year or they lose their budget for the positions (the ol’ “use it or lose it” budget policy).

So, go ahead: enjoy this lovely time of year, full of hope and good feelings. And consider extending those great feelings for yourself by contacting the Helpmates branch nearest you and registering as one of our associates. We look forward to meeting you!

It’s Time For Spring Cleaning (Your Job Search)

Spring has officially sprung — as the trees blossom and the weather improves, are you where you want to be in your career? Just a few months back, we offered these tips for turning your New Year’s career resolutions into a reality this year. If you haven’t made as much progress as you’d like, it’s time to use the spring season to your advantage. 

Get to work on spring cleaning your job searchHM April Blog 1

The theme of “spring cleaning” has a few different applications – maybe it’s cleaning out the garage, a spare bedroom or your car. Maybe it means changing your diet to focus on healthier foods. This year, take a different approach to spring cleaning — use it to freshen up your job search.

Spring cleaning your job search doesn’t have to be as intensive as a weekend spent cleaning the garage – follow these three steps to take a fresh approach to your career this spring:

  1. Overhaul your resume. You should be reviewing and updating your resume at least once or twice a year (or perhaps more frequently if you’ve changed jobs multiple times). This checklist offers four things many people forget to put on their resumes (make sure yours is complete!). Spring cleaning your resume can really help remove unnecessary clutter and help employers focus on the most pertinent and relevant details. Here are a few places to start: Removing work experience that’s more than 10 years old or isn’t directly relevant to the jobs you’re applying to right now; Freshen up your bullet points by adding your most recent accomplishments (quantifying results wherever possible) – remember to go beyond your to-do list and focus on what you’ve done in your jobs; Tighten up the language by including relevant keywords to your target job titles wherever possible; and Eliminate unnecessary words or clutter to make your resume more visually appealing.
  2. Call your recruiter. Maybe you’ve been working in your latest position for awhile, or perhaps your job search just took a backseat to other priorities to start the year. One of the best ways to freshen up your job search this spring is by calling your recruiter. Either on a phone call or in a meeting, update your recruiter on what you’ve been up to, what your goals are and what you’re looking for in the short and long term for your career. Your recruiter is one of the most critical tools in your job search, and ensuring he or she has the most up to date information about you, your job and your goals means that recruiter is able to match you to the most relevant jobs within those goals. Plus, many recruiters are extremely busy – when you take the initiative to touch base with an update, you’re ensuring that you stay top of mind, which can be a huge boost when new jobs open up.
  3. Spring clean your wardrobe. Hiring managers are using a lot of information to determine whether you’re a fit for their companies. Resumes and input from recruiters play a part, but your wardrobe is also essential. From the moment you walk through the door, potential employers are assessing your wardrobe to determine your level of professionalism and respect for the position and company. In the literal sense, spring cleaning your wardrobe means putting away the heavy sweaters and moving into lighter clothing. But also take the opportunity to determine whether your spring and summer interview clothes truly put your best foot forward. Ask a friend or relative for input if you’re not sure. New wardrobe pieces don’t have to cost a fortune, but your interview clothing should be professional, and your work wardrobe should match the corresponding employment environment of your profession.
  4. Review and revise your online presence. Recruiters are putting in the time to review your online profiles for sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook. While you’re updating your resume, take a few minutes to update your social media profiles to ensure they are up to date and positioning you in the best light. For Facebook, verify your privacy settings keep personal photos and posts to family and friends. Keep Twitter content personal but professional and respectful wherever possible – if you spot something that could be misconstrued or hurt your reputation with a hiring manager, play it safe and delete the tweet(s). On LinkedIn, verify your photo is professional, and update your profile throughout to ensure it helps tell your personal story while highlighting your professional accomplishments. Taking a few minutes on each of these sites helps ensure recruiters and hiring managers see a complete, professional portrait when visiting your social media profiles.

Spring offers an excellent opportunity to recharge your job search – the team at Helpmates can also help you take your career to the next level. Visit our job board or contact your local Helpmates office today to get started.

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