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The Job Seeker's Holiday Survival Guide

Ten ways to look for work in December and beyond

By Bill Hartnett, AOL Jobs | December 17, 2013

December can be a cruel month for job seekers. It seems everyone else is enjoying holiday parties and office toasts while you are walking the streets. Your email gets quiet. The phone doesn't ring.

It is easy to miss out on the joy of the holidays when your job search goes cold and your stress is on the rise. But it doesn't have to be that way.
 
Keep your job search alive in December and beat back the holiday blues. Taking action will keep your spirits up and help you get closer to what you really want for Christmas: meetings, interviews, and maybe even a job offer.

(MORE: How to Look for a Job Without Your Boss Knowing)
 
Here are ten steps to kickstart your job hunt in the month of December.
 
1. Set up appointments during the week between Christmas and New Year. Plenty of people are still in the office and chances are they have some free time. This is a terrific time to meet with people when they aren't rushed. Not everyone will be around, so spread your net wide and nail down some meetings.
 
2. Fine tune your LinkedIn profile. A job seeker's work is never done and your profile can always use a few tweaks. Check out the LinkedIn profiles of people you admire and borrow from the best. Make sure yours is up to date and complete. And don't forget to engage in LinkedIn group discussions, post smart content and comment on others' posts.

(MORE: 8 Ways to Network Like a Pro at Holiday Parties)
 
3. Expand your social media footprint. Social is a great way to connect with thought leaders in your industry and learn more about companies you want to work for. Follow new people on Twitter. Join groups on LinkedIn. Even Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with industry colleagues. Sign up for a new social platform and make new connections. But don't stop there. Post items relevant to your line of work. Comment. Listen. Engage.
 
4. Find new Meetup groups. This is a terrific way to introduce yourself to people and make connections. There are meetups catered to all interests and professions. If you can't find one that is right for you go ahead and start your own.

(MORE: December is a Great Time to Look for Work)
 
5. Take an online course. Coursera, Udemy, Lynda.com and Khan Academy are just a few of the many places offering free or inexpensive classes. What skills do you want to add to your arsenal? Chances are you can find it online. Codecademy, Udacity, Code School and countless others will teach you to code with smart, user-friendly lessons.
 
6. Start a blog. You have expertise; showcase it and share it with the world. Blogging is a great way to grow your online reputation. Wordpress, Blogger and other services offer great tools that will have you up and blogging in minutes.
 
7. Keep in touch with people. The holidays are a great time to write catch-up emails to your friends and colleagues. You don't need a reason other than to wish them well. While you're at it, suggest a get-together.
 
8. Offer yourself up as holiday relief. Plenty of companies may need seasonal help or vacation filli-ins. What starts as a three-day assignment may lead to more work or even a job.
 
9. Prep for January. Plenty of folks will ask to meet after the holidays. Say "Yes" and set a date. Nothing feels better than sprinting into the new year with a host of meetings on the calendar.
 
10. Take some time for yourself. Yes, you deserve a break. Remember to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Unemployment is only temporary, but great memories of holidays well-celebrated last forever.
 
Good luck and happy hunting! Enjoy the holidays. 


Bill Hartnett is a contributor for AOLJobs.com who is on the hunt for a full-time job.  This article which appeared originally on AOLJobs.com is reprinted with permission.