Why Are the Holidays a Great Time to Job Search?

The primary reason to job search during the holidays is that companies want to spend their hiring budget before the end of the year. If the hiring budget is not spent, it is often reduced for the subsequent year.

Many executives delay their job search efforts until after the first of the year. Unfortunately, next to losing weight, finding a job is one of the top New Year Resolutions worldwide. This will result in you having more competition in January, even at the executive level.

execunetselect-happy-holidaysTake time to determine what is most important to you at this point in your career. Determine what must be there for you to make a career move. Break down your current job into percentages. What percentage of the time do you spend on your current areas of responsibility? Next determine which responsibilities you enjoy most and least and if there are certain responsibilities you do not want included in the next opportunity you accept. Then list talents you have that are not being used, especially if they are things you enjoy. When you take time to determine what is most important to you, you will make a better career move.

If you are interested in targeting a new industry or position, document the transferrable skills you possess. Then write down your top accomplishments and the impact they have had on your current employer. Great leadership skills open endless opportunities to attain your career goals in many industries. Don’t limit your targets to the industries where you have current experience.

The holidays can be a very busy time with year end projects, but take time to also evaluate your core values and the company culture you prefer. If you want to reveal the real reason you are considering a career move, write down the five things you would change about your current company that are out of your control. You can then make sure those things don’t exist in the next opportunity you accept.

Write down your short- and long-term career goals so the new opportunity you accept aligns with your current goals. To help guide your search process, write down 10 non-negotiable goals for the coming 12 months to will help guide your search process. The next opportunity you accept should lay the foundation, to help you achieve your long-term career goals.

In the very competitive job market, you are in the driver’s seat. During the holidays you have less competition, and there has never been a more lucrative time for you to be conducting your job search. Let’s discuss exactly what you should be doing, especially if you are currently employed and don’t want to jeopardize your current job.

Update your LinkedIn Profile to stress your accomplishments and the impact they had on your company. Your profile should be a mini-sales letter. It should not read like a resume or CV. Next update your resume or CV and make sure the information on your resume or CV accurately reflects your LinkedIn Profile. Utilize keywords that you know align with the opportunity you are seeking on your resume, CV, and LinkedIn Profile.

Next, review your presence and reputation on social media. You may be cautious about what you post, but what have your friends or family members posted? A job search is not the time to reveal your political, religious, or other views that may disqualify you from consideration by an employer. Clean up your social media presence, which is often the first screening process and happens without your knowledge.

You are now ready to reach out to your professional and personal network. According to LinkedIn, over 82% of individuals who have advanced their career have done so, through their networking efforts. Share that you are conducting a confidential job search. Network with anyone you trust who is working. Individuals don’t need experience in your targeted profession or industry to be able to make an introduction or open a door for you. When you are working, you always hear about job opportunities.

The holidays are a great time to accept invitations to attend parties, networking events and company gatherings. Accept all invitations, especially if they provide an opportunity for you to mingle with other executives. Exchange contact information because you never know when someone could open a door to your next opportunity.

In addition to networking, identify companies you would most prefer to target in your job search. Market yourself directly to these companies sharing the reason you have targeted them. Think of who would be the person who would hire someone at your level and target them, their boss, or someone on their Board of Directors. Start out by sending them a letter explaining how you could benefit them, why you want to work for their company and include a copy of your resume or CV. Explain that you are conducting a confidential job search.

Send this information by mail in an envelope marked PERSONAL & CONFIDENTIAL. The return address should be your personal address vs. your company’s return address. So often companies want to upgrade someone on their executive team but have not started a formal search process. Then your resume or CV lands on their desk. This is a very effective proactive process to escalate your job search.

With the current competition for top talent, companies will often create an opportunity around the expertise of a high achiever. Next to networking with your professional and personal network, marketing yourself directly to a company is the best way to land your next opportunity. This is also a technique that not many executives are utilizing which gives you a competitive edge.

Your career and compensation package have the greatest impact on your life, next to good health. Work is where you spend most of your time and efforts and should help you create the lifestyle you deserve to live. Wouldn’t it be great if this year over the holidays, you gave yourself the gift of career advancement?

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Barbara Bruno

Barbara Bruno

Barbara Bruno, author of HIGH-TECH HIGH-TOUCH RECRUITING: How To Attract And Retain The Best Talent By Improving The Candidate Experience, is an internationally recognized recruiting expert who has a proven track record of helping recruiters and talent acquisition professionals become more successful and less stressed. She has created several popular LinkedIn Learning courses and is president of Good As Gold Training, HR Search, Inc., and Happy Candidates.

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