In prior career management articles I spoke about how to handle the salary question, the importance of attitude in The Three A’s (published in LaunchPad), thoughts about whining and a recent article on holiday season job search strategies.  Today’s article continues with the holiday theme.

Here’s my jobseeker’s holiday wish list.

A LinkedIn Paid Account

As a human resources professional and career coach, I interact with a lot of job seekers.  One of the most common questions I field is “Is the LinkedIn Business (paid) account worth it?”  When in job search mode, I think it is worth it, even at a cost of $24.95/mo.  If you are not actively seeking your next position then I can certainly see the rationale for sticking with the LinkedIn Basic (free) account.  Be forewarned, like many things in life, once you have it, you might not want to give it up.

The screenshot below provides a comparison of the different account types.   Which features in the Business (paid) account do I like the most?  Several, including three InMails per month, profile organizer, premium search filters, more introduction requests, complete list of Who’s Viewed My Profile and expanded view of out of network profiles.  There is also a “jobseeker” paid account for $29.95/mo which among other things allows you to show higher in search results.

An iPhone (or similar smartphone) and/or iPad

An iPhone is very handy for the jobseeker.  Since most smartphones handle address books, mail and internet, I won’t focus on these relatively standard features.  Instead, a technologically-savvy jobseeker can use several of the applications (apps) available on the iPhone.

The LinkedIn app is very useful because you have immediate access to someone’s profile.  Here’s a classic example.  While sitting at a professional organization banquet, you look up the keynote speaker on your LinkedIn app.  You notice that the speaker went to your alma mater and you have five second level (a LinkedIn term) connections to this person.  Great!  Like any savvy networker, you know that building rapport and credibility are key facets to securing networking meetings with power connectors in your industry.  Viola!  In a matter of seconds, with your iPhone in your hands, you are able to talk intelligently with the keynote speaker and influencer in your industry.

There are many other cool apps for jobseekers.  You can use a “reader” app (e.g. Good Reader and Pulse) which consolidates RSS feeds from blogs, newspapers and even job boards allowing you to stay current on important information related to your job search.

There are also apps for keeping track of to-do lists, outlines and notes (e.g. Evernote and Outliner).  Organization is key in job search due to the mountain of information coming and going through you and through your network.

Career Management Books

There are many books about job search on a variety of topics including resumes, cover letters, networking, interviewing and everything in between.  I have read many of these books and a couple stand out for me.  Get the Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring by Ford R. Myers is a must-have for anyone who is managing their career (ideally all of us not just jobseekers).  Ford’s book works because he has helped many jobseekers land great jobs.  His methodology is effective and continues to succeed over and over again.

Another example is Launchpad, Your Career Search Strategy Guide (Vol. 4), a collection of valuable articles in one easy to read format.

A Networking Mentor

It’s my wish that every jobseeker finds a networking mentor this holiday season.  What is a networking mentor?  This is someone who is in your line of work, is power connected in your industry and who unconditionally mentors you through the job search process (and beyond).  Job hunting can be a lonely process and having a networking mentor help you along is invaluable.  Finding a networking mentor is part luck, part intuition, part attitude, and part effort.

I consider a close friend, Adam Berman, a networking mentor.  Adam offered to meet me at Starbucks when I was having trouble getting people to accept my networking requests.  He clued me in to networking organizations that I never knew existed because I was a “heads down” corporate employee for many years before.  He opened up his virtual rolodex and connected me with many other influential people.  And Adam was there to provide advice on which job to take and how to negotiate the best offer.  Everyone, especially a jobseeker at this time of year, needs an “Adam.”  You will know it when you find one.

A Job Search Team

In the same spirit of not tackling a job search alone, a job search team can be so beneficial.  A job search team is a group of like-minded professionals who work together and support each other through the process.  Generally, team members have synergistic careers and networks but do not completely overlap.  It can be awkward if job search team members directly compete with each other for the same positions.

The job search team meets weekly or bi-weekly to share job leads, networking suggestions, tips, tricks and techniques.  The job search team provides moral support, smoothing out the high and low emotions associated with job search.

A Career Coaching Session

Hiring a great Career Coach can help you shave months off your job search and can help you earn more than you thought possible.  Here’s another way to look at it. If you are sick, you hire a doctor.  If you need tax advice, you hire an accountant.  If you need career advice, you hire a Career Coach.  A coach normally has a lot of experience in career dynamics, either from spending time in outplacement companies or corporate human resources departments.  These professionals know how to strategize and are on top of the latest trends, such as using social media and personal branding.

Many Career Coaches will provide a brief complimentary session to help you evaluate your needs.  My wish is that you find the right professional to help guide you through a very difficult and challenging time and through a process with which you have limited experience.

To Recap

If you are in job search mode, what other gifts would you like (other than a six figure job offer!) to see this year?  If you currently have jobseekers in your network, what would you recommend for them?