It’s Holiday time, late in the dreaded fourth quarter of the year – the place where job searches grind to a halt because budgets are spent, and decision makers are either distracted or out of the office.
There are schools of thought that say with all that in mind, now’s a great time give your job search a rest, give yourself a break, and get back to it next year with a recharged outlook.
Then there are those of a more Puritanical nature, who say nose to the grindstone, keep pushing, pushing, pushing; that you’re unemployed so don’t deserve (or even need) a break.
Well, how about splitting the difference?
It’s very, very true that getting an interview this time of year is the exception, not the rule – so why not spend your energy on getting ready for the first quarter of next year, which is traditionally the best time to get hired?
And the best part is, you don’t have to go it alone. With the economy still not firing on all cylinders, I don’t doubt you know others who are unemployed. And since this is when people with jobs are solidly in Holiday Party mode, why not join in and have a low key event for your circle of job seekers? It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it should be held somewhere where you can talk and keep distractions to a minimum. A potluck dinner at someone’s house might be ideal.
Along with the battery recharging process of eating and making merry, you can use this time to be productive. You all are in the same boat – you’re all seeking employment, and likely all have been at it for some time. So… have everyone come to the party with enough copies of their resume for everybody else. After dinner is done, it’s time to get some feedback on what’s good and what’s bad about your resume. How? That’s easy. You play a resume party game, which goes like this:
After everyone’s resumes are passed out, you each make notes on their copy of Contestant A’s resume. After a five minute period, you then go around the room and each person makes one or two positive comments, and one or two bits of constructive criticism about the resume they just read. Keep the comments honest, but respectful… there’s no bonus points for the snidest critique! Then, it’s on to the next contestant. Repeat the process until you’ve gone over everyone’s resume.
At the end of the game, a ballot is passed out for people to vote on the best resume, as well as for the one needing the most help. After the votes are tallied, the authors of the best and worst resumes get a small prize – it can be something fun like movie tickets, or it can be something practical like a book on how to write a more effective resume.
The whole point is to have fun socializing, and at the same time get some honest feedback. Everyone goes home with all of the critiqued copies of their resume, and hopefully can get some insight on how to rework it into something both attention getting and interview worthy. The revitalized resume that results is the one you use to hit the ground running after the first of the year.
And there you have it – a fun, refreshing evening that has the added bonus of helping you prep for your renewed job search. It’s perfect for this time of year. After all, what better present is there than improving your chances of landing a job ASAP, once the Rose Bowl ends and January 2nd rolls around?