By John Sumser
Ask around. Most of the incumbent career coaches are going to tell you that job hunting gets tough in December. They say that decisions don't get made, recruiters are slacking off, budgets are slamming shut and interviewers are glazing over. The 'end of the year slump' is like most of the other down times in the hiring cycle.
It's an illusion. Believe it and you'll relax your efforts. That's the very stuff of which self-fulfilling prophesies are made.
It's an illusion. Refuse to believe it and you'll discover a world of decision makers with a little bit of time on their hands. There are openings if you'll just take advantage of them.
Great executives lead by example. That means that the exact kind of people you'd love to work with are in their offices on days like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Most of the people in their organizations are working at half speed so they are alone in the office with time on their hands. They're busy setting examples and have no scheduled meetings.
There is no better time to get your story in front of them.
As always, the only trick to a successful job hunt is knowing what you want. As you reach out to the leaders you hope to work for, keep the following things in mind.
- Keep your message short and clear. Practice describing your goal until you can say it in under a minute. When you get your next boss on the phone, you need to be flawless.
- Find their phone number in advance. Use LinkedIn to identify the people you want to talk to. They are the managers of the groups you hope to work in. Find their phone numbers by calling into the company and asking for them by name (preferably after hours).
- Send your resume, on paper, in advance. Address it to the attention of the person you are going to call.
- Begin your call with a solid value opener. "I know you are working on X and I am in a position to really help". You'll know what X is by looking at their LinkedIn profile.
- Tell them what you want to do. 60 seconds. Max.
- Offer a money back guarantee. "Let me come into the office. I'll work for a week. Then, let's talk about whether or not you want to hire me. If you don't, I won't charge you."
- Be persistent.
The holiday season can be the perfect time to look for work. They're not so busy, you're not so busy.
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