Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Conducting Your Job Search Throughout the Holidays

Directions for cooking the most delicious turkey are available, wreaths and holiday decorations are all over the stores, and plans for the New Year’s Party are starting to gel. Perhaps you are thinking, “my job search needs a holiday break. I can take some time to chill, because companies won’t be interested in talking with me, and certainly they are not hiring!”

Think again! If you conduct a web search on “Holiday Job Search Strategies” or “Interviewing During the Holidays”, many links and resources will appear, and for good reason. This is an excellent time to network, request informational meetings, have interviews, and, yes, even land an internship or job. If you count the week of Thanksgiving through the week after New Year’s, there are approximately six weeks that can be used to continue or begin your job search. Many people do not take advantage of this opportunity, so your competition is reduced and chances of meetings, interviews and offers improve.

Some of my favorite search strategies include:

Practice your 30-second commercial. If you don’t have one, create one. If you have one, but haven’t said it out loud in a while, start practicing. Share it with people you trust will give honest feedback and practice it. Feel free to contact the Career Development Center if you’d like assistance. This reinforces the positive impression with those you know and creates a great impression for those you are meeting for the first time.

Network, network, network. I know this is said over and over again, but it can’t be emphasized enough! When you travel home to visit family and friends and/or go to social events, ask questions and share information (your education, skills, interests, values, passion). Who’s invited to watch football games at your friend’s home? What do they do and who do they know? Do you really know what your former classmate’s father does and who he knows? Your brother’s girlfriend . . . where does she work or for what organizations does she volunteer? Use your 30-second commercial. Make connections, collect and give business cards, and follow up. Networking is about building and enhancing relationships, receiving assistance and helping others — not asking for a job.

Send holiday cards to employers of interest. Get specific names and titles, making sure you spell everything correctly. Include your business card and a brief note stating you are very interested in meeting them to learn more about their industry, organization, etc. No need to send small tokens — a generic holiday card is fine!Call a leader to schedule a 15 – 20 informational meeting. In general, people want to help others, especially if you take the initiative. Over the holidays, people tend to be more relaxed and can make time in their schedule to meet with you. Prepare for the meeting by conducting research on the leader and company, and have 3 – 4 questions to ask. Thank them after the meeting, and definitely send a thank you note after your visit. Are you working part-time over the holidays? Are there opportunities for an internship or full-time employment in the future? Who do you need to talk with to find out, and what do you need to do? If you don’t ask, you don’t know!

Your family and friends can be a part of your job search too! Ask for search-related gifts, which will help to reduce your expenses and keep you engaged. I’m not endorsing any companies here, but gift cards to Starbucks, Panera, Office Max, Staples, 7-11, etc. help with those coffee and lunch meetings, getting supplies and paying for gas. If you need new clothing or shoes, put them on your wish list!

The holidays are the time to enjoy the company of those who are special in your life as well as meet new acquaintances. They are also an optimal time to increase your network and generate opportunities for landing your next internship or career. Enjoy a wonderful holiday season and best wishes for a successful year in 2012!

Jane Trnka, SPHR
Executive Director, Career Development Center
Monday, November 14, 2011

Students & Alumni Connect With Employers at Annual Networking Reception

On the beautiful fall evening of November 8, employers and business leaders from around central Florida gathered in Winter Park to meet Rollins MBA students and alumni at the eighth annual Rollins MBA Networking Reception. Eighty-two students and alumni had the opportunity to network with representatives from 48 employers, most of whom had open positions and/or internships, and all of whom were interested in the diverse, highly qualified talent pool that Rollins MBA students and alumni comprise.

The Rollins MBA Networking Reception is held each year as part of a complete package of career services Rollins MBA students and alumni receive at no additional cost. Throughout the academic year, the Rollins MBA Career Development Center hosts networking events, information sessions with employers, and seminars on job search topics, such as salary negotiations. The Center’s goal is to empower our students and graduates to make greater connections and take control of their careers.

The following are some of the employers who attended the November 8 event:

Apopka Family Learning Center
CNL Financial Services
Connextions, Inc.
Disney Cruise Line
Florida Virtual School
Freedom Ride
Fry Hammond Barr
Gartner
Hernon Manufacturing Inc.
iGPS Company, LLC
JP Morgan Chase
KPMG
Merrill Lynch
National Entrepreneur Center
Northrop Grumman
Orlando Health
Orlando Magic
Physicians United Plan
Raytheon
Right Management
Starwood Vacation Ownership
Tews Company
The Walt Disney Co.
Universal Orlando Resort
US Navy

Please bookmark our events calendar for future Career Development Center events.

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About Me

Rollins MBA Career Development Center
Written by the experts from Rollins MBA Career Development Center, the Rollins MBA Career Blog provides information and strategic direction to anyone working to take control of their careers. The Rollins MBA Career Development Center offers a wide variety of career services for students and alumni, including career coaching, résumé development, job search skills, career search databases, and internship and recruitment assistance. The Rollins MBA is one of the top-ranked programs in the nation — and the world. It provides the foundation for students to accelerate their career goals, gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace and advance in their organizations. Visit mba.rollins.edu to learn more.
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