Holiday Job Search Tips for College Students 2009

As a member of a new community of resume writers and career coaches called the Career Collective, this post is one of many responses to the topic, “Specific tips to help job seekers really ramp up their efforts for the holiday season and the new year.” I encourage you to visit other members’ responses, linked at the end of this article! Please follow our hashtag on Twitter: #careercollective.

Last year, we offered a list of holiday job search tips for college students. We decided to revisit that list and add on to it for the 2009 holiday season.

  • Identify your plans for this coming summer. Do you intend to intern? Will you be graduating and looking for full time employment? Do you hope to have a summer job? Are you expecting to be conducting summer research? Will you be gearing up for graduate school? Are you planning to travel? Whatever your plans, take time over the holidays to identify first and subsequent steps for accomplishing your summer goals. Plot out a practical, achievable action plan that spans the holidays, the winter and the coming spring. Schedule at least two times during the coming months, (for example, at reading break, or during spring break), when you will review your progress and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Make a list of at least 5 professionals you would like to contact for an informational interview during break. If you don’t know whom you’d like to contact, identify some organizations in your field or industry, then use a resource like to identify an individual within the organization to contact. The best person to contact won’t necessarily be an human resources professional. Try to connect with someone who has the same job title as you would like to have. Better yet, connect with their supervisor. Your campus’ career center may also have resources to assist you in identifying a contact within the organization. It can sometimes be challenging to set up informational interviews during the holidays because of varying work schedules, so don’t be disheartened if you’re not able to schedule an info interview right away. Be persistent, and let your contact know that you would be willing to schedule the info interview in advance and conduct it by phone when you return to campus, if necessary. While a face-to-face meeting is preferable, a phone conversation can also yield valuable results.
  • Take time to update your resume. Before the fall semester becomes too much of a distant memory, list all of the major projects, presentations and collaborative efforts you completed during the semester. Also list significant contributions to student organizations, clubs, teams. If you haven’t already done so, add internships, co-ops and jobs from the summer. While not all of these accomplishments will necessarily make their way to the resume you send out to employers, it’s helpful to include them in your grab bag resume.
  • Write a quick note to professors, former/current supervisors, advisors, and other professionals in your life that you would like to thank for their assistance over the last year. While any time of year is a good time to say “Thank you,” the holidays are an especially good time to make the effort to express your gratitude.

Best of luck with your job search and career development. Have a great holiday season!

Other responses from the Career Collective:
@MartinBuckland, Elite Resumes, “Season’s Greetings and your Job Search
@GayleHoward, The Executive Brand, “It’s Christmas: And a ho-ho-ho-hum?
@KCCareerCoach, Career Chaos, “The Gift Every Laid Off Job Seeker Needs
@resumeservice, Resume Writing Blog,“Holiday Resume Sparkle: Outshine the New Year Job-Search Mob
@heathermundell, life@work, “Have a Holly Jolly Job Search
@careersherpa, Hannah Morgan: Career Sherpa, “Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa Cheers
@careerealism,, “Holiday Tip for Job Seekers: 4 Ways to Impress Others with Your Professionalism
@heatherhuhman,, “4 Tips for Making the Most of Holiday Job Hunting
@LaurieBerenson, Sterling Career Concepts, “Three Resolutions to Take It Up a Notch
@KatCareerGal, Quintessential Resumes and Cover Letters Tips Blog, “Avoiding the Holiday Blues in Your Job Search
@WorkWithIllness,, “Avoid this Minefield: No Holiday Here!
@DawnBugni, The Write Solution “Could that sound really be opportunity? During the Holidays?
@andyinnaples, Shift Your Focus to the Highest Impact “Job Search Activities During the Holidays to Leverage Your Time
@erinkennedycprw, Professional Resume Services, “How to keep up the Job Hunt during the Holidays
@keppie_careers, Keppie Careers, “Four tips for effective networking follow-up for the holidays and the rest of the year
@ValueIntoWords, Career Trend, “Navigating the Mistle Toe of Job Search
@GLHoffman, What Would Dad Say, “Merry Christmas! Can I Buy You Coffee to Talk About Me?
@BarbaraSafani, Career Solvers, “Holiday Networking Can Facilitate New Year Opportunities
@expatcoachmegan, Career By Choice Blog, “Expat Networking: Holidays Are a Great Time to Nurture and Grow Your Network
@chandlee, The Emerging Professional Blog, “Footprints & Associations: Job Search Tips for the Holidays

6 comments on “Holiday Job Search Tips for College Students 2009”

  1. Polina Reply

    I think using LinkedIn as a means of finding contacts in your field is a great tip! It's incredibly frustrating to try to get contact information through the company itself, as you're likely to get the runaround of names.

  2. resumeguru Reply

    If there is one thing I love reading it is action-focused steps for young people to follow. A bit like the military style of training: See this — do that. Congrats! solid and timely strategies!

  3. Rosalind Joffe Reply

    As someone who has clients right out of college — and children the same age –I"m amazed how little they learn about what it takes to get a job these days. This is a terrific tool – just wish it could be posted in all college career centers! Rosalind

  4. Barbara Safani Reply


    I would probably also add "Clean up your social networking profiles on Facebook, MySpace, etc." Nice tips!

  5. Anonymous Reply

    Grace—I especially liked your last point…thanking all those who have helped the college student along his or her path. I hope they follow your advice out in the 'real world.'

    job search engine only from company websites.

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