Do’s and Don’ts for Holiday Networking

Published on November 30, 2009

UH Bauer’s Jamie Belinne Says Holiday Parties Beneficial to Job Seekers

Holiday parties offer fun and networking, but be mindful of behavior.

Holiday parties offer fun and networking, but be mindful of behavior.

For many, holiday parties mean catching up with old friends, eating great food and celebrating the season, and this year, seasonal gatherings could also be the perfect place to land a job, according to Jamie Belinne, assistant dean for career services at the University of Houston Bauer College of Business.

Networking should be on the minds of job seekers attending holiday events, Belinne says. “The holiday season is the season for parties and gatherings with friends and family members you may only see once a year. It’s a great time to catch up with old friends and connect with new ones. And for those who are in the midst of a job search, it’s the perfect opportunity to expand your network.”

To make the most of holiday networking opportunities, Belinne offers this list of do’s and don’ts.

Do

  • Accept all possible invitations to gather, volunteer and socialize.
  • Show real interest in the people you meet at all of these events.
  • Based on what you learn in conversation, form legitimate personal connections with people based on hobbies, interests or activities.
  • Mention the fact that you’re looking for work in a concise, specific and informal way.
  • Indicate that you’re open to suggestions and advice on your job search.

Don’t

  • Evaluate invitations based on who you think is “useful.”
  • Talk all about yourself and your job situation when you meet people.
  • Dismiss people once you’ve decided they can’t help you get a job.
  • Pass out résumés at social events.
  • Ask people if they know anyone who could hire you.
  • Drink more than one glass of alcohol if you’re 21 or over. If you’re under 21, don’t drink at all.

“Networking at social events, in this case holiday parties, must be done carefully to avoid being the ‘party pooper’ who is so focused on schmoozing for jobs that he or she actually hurts their chances of getting a referral rather than helping,” Belinne adds.

About Jamie Belinne

Jamie Belinne, assistant dean for Career Services

Jamie Belinne, assistant dean for Career Services

Jamie Belinne is the assistant dean for Career Services at the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston’s Rockwell Career Center. She was assistant director of human resources at The University of Texas at Austin, where she led the recruiting and staffing efforts for the university, the largest central Texas employer at the time. Earlier at UT, she built McCombs’ first dedicated MBA Career Services division. The Wall Street Journal named her and her work with students a major factor when the school was named one of the seven best in the world by recruiters. At UH Bauer, she has developed innovative career programming that is used as a model by many other top schools.

She has also worked in career services at Tulane’s Freeman School of Business and at LSU. She is the Vice President and a founding member of the international MBA Career Services Council. She is also a member of Team USA 2009 for the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Perth, Australia.

Posted Under: Graduate, Undergraduate

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