With the festivities of the holidays almost upon us, you would likely rather think about anything than job searching.
But, in spite of the common belief that job hunting during the holidays is a waste of effort, nothing could be further from the truth. The holidays actually offer valuable job search opportunities not seen at other times of the year.
If anything, the holidays are a time to step up your job search. You should continue to set regular job search goals and take positive action steps on a daily basis toward achieving those goals.
Not only will you have less competition in the job market during the holidays, you may have increased employment opportunities as many employers are still interviewing and hiring. Some are seeking new staff to fulfill certain business goals before the end of the year and others seek to put new employees in place, to have them all ready to go at the start of the New Year.
Are you ready to celebrate the holidays with some good news on the employment front? Use these 12 tips for increasing your chances of landing that dream position while job searching before the New Year’s celebrations end.
Other job seekers may buy into the myth that job hunting during the holidays is a waste because no one hires during the holidays. Make this work in your favor! Sending out your resume, chatting to friends and acquaintances about potential opportunities, or meeting with recruiters NOW means that you have access to more potential interviews – with less competition.
Many organizations have their budget review and planning in January, meaning that departments must use up their currently allotted budget by the end of the year. And if departments need people, they will try to hire them. Use this fact as your impetus to start your job search at a time when most people won’t.
3. Explore the hidden job market:
Even if companies are hiring, they may not advertise those openings, so don’t use the job listings as your only guide to finding job openings. Search for the companies where you want to work and the possibility that they have the type of work you want to do. The holiday season is an ideal time to reconnect with people in your network. Use this time to try to find people you know who have connections in the companies of interest to you. Consider conducting informational interviews. When you are talking with your networking contacts ask them if they have other ideas for people you should speak with. Conducting a targeted job search in this way, is often the most effective strategy a may result in uncovering dream opportunities that you would not otherwise know about.
Many businesses become more relaxed as the holidays approach – more gatherings, fewer people in the office. Use this to your advantage. Hiring managers could be more open to chatting about available positions that are either available now or in the new year. While the Coronavirus pandemic may make in-person meetings difficult this holiday season of 2020, most people have become quite accustomed this year to meeting via Zoom or other video chat technologies. So get chatting!
Holidays mean many things to many people, and for some, it means social opportunities. While the 2020 season is likely to be very different than any other we’ve experienced, there will still be many virtual “gatherings.” While it might not be as fun as an in-person party, still make an effort to attend as many of these as possible. You may also have the opportunity to attend virtual end of year workshops in your profession, and such. Whatever the event, remember that the more people you meet and talk with, the greater your chances are to get hired.
6. Be open to new opportunities:
As you start your job search, you may have a specific idea about what you want from a new position, and that’s good. But don’t let that idea limit you to what is out there. Consider every new opportunity that comes along, even if it wasn’t in your original job path. You could find some delightful surprises, or it could reinforce that what you thought you wanted was correct.
When more people are out of the office, and those who are there are filling in for those who aren’t, the pace at businesses can become slower. Therefore, you need to wait patiently – things will happen.
8. Evaluate your job search and interview strategies:
Even if you have to wait for opportunities to unveil themselves or come to fruition, this doesn’t mean there is nothing for you to do. Take this time to reassess your job search strategies, conduct research into prospective employers, and polish your interview techniques. Refining these aspects will make you more confident when talking with others before and during your interview, and that will enhance your chances to get hired.
9. Polish your presentation:
Beat the rush! Professional resume writers are often swamped with work during the first few months of the year from job seekers and would-be job seekers who are just waiting for the New Year to conduct their search. If you need some professional assistance strengthening your resume, there is no better time than the present regardless of the season. Besides your comprehensive, traditional resume, you might also consider a shorter one-page infographic resume version to use with networking contacts. These documents are concise summaries that will help your network contacts understand your job search goals, your qualifications, and your value proposition. If unemployed, you should also consider having some networking business cards made up with your name, a brief branding statement, and your contact information.
10. Re-establish old contacts:
Truly effective networking is a continual effort that involves cultivating and nurturing relationships. If you’ve lost touch with old co-workers, supervisors, and college friends, now is a great time to reach out to them. Send a holiday card and include a note letting them know you’ve been thinking of them. Now isn’t the time to mention your job search, but a week or two later you could follow up with a phone call. The topic of work will inevitably come up and that is the time to discuss your search and to ask if they have any suggestions for people that it might be helpful for you to talk with.
11. Nurture new contacts:
Put the names of recruiters you’ve been in touch with, employers who have recently interviewed you, and all your new networking contacts on your holiday card list. Send a “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays” card. You would be surprised at how few job seekers use this technique, and so it is a great way to keep your name in front of hiring decision-makers and help you to stand out from your competition. You might consider sending your card at a slightly offbeat time, so it arrives alone rather than with a dozen other cards. For example, on December 26 you could send a “Happy New Year” card.
Many people struggle through the “holiday blues” and the tendency for this can be even greater when you are frustrated by a challenging job search. If you are job hunting during the holidays, keep your ultimate goal in sight by setting weekly job search goals and daily milestones. Schedule and calendar these milestones to make sure you allocate the time you need for your search. But, don’t forget yourself! Make sure you also schedule time for you to just relax and enjoy the holidays.
The bottom-line: Don’t take the holidays off. Job hunting during the holidays can be very fruitful. Continue with your job search and maintain your momentum by setting goals and following through with daily action steps.
Whether you land your next job now or whether you land it in the New Year, when the celebrations are over you’ll be far ahead of all your job search competition-many of whom chose to forget all about job searching during the holidays.