Job Hunting Shouldn’t Take a Holiday

Holiday Job HuntingFor job seekers, the holiday season doesn’t typically offer a reason to celebrate. Because of a natural slowdown in hiring during this time, many people think they need to put their job hunting on hold until January, when employers regain their focus on recruiting and hiring new talent. Yet, while many recruiters, human resource professionals and career coaches agree that hiring may slow during the last two months of the year, it definitely doesn’t stop. Opportunities do exist for candidates willing to stay in the game and find them.

In fact, wise candidates step up their job hunting game during the holiday season.

Because business activities typically slow down at this time of year, the hiring managers and HR managers who haven’t left for vacation may be more accessible than ever right now. So if contacting someone at your target companies is on your to-do list, don’t wait until January to make that connection. If organizations have a specific hiring need, they aren’t going to wait until January to begin or resume their search for qualified candidates. You might be the only appealing candidate knocking on their door while other possible contenders are waiting for the holidays to end to throw their hat in the ring. That’s a nice position to be in!

Regardless of the job search strategy you enlist, it’s important to maintain your momentum and keep focused during the holiday season.

holiday party
5 Tips to Prepare for a Successful Holiday Job Search
A member of ExecuNet’s Career Strategy Team offers her thoughts on making the most of the holiday season when in job search. Find out what she suggests.

Here are some tips for keeping in the game during the holiday season:

  • Send holiday greetings: Don’t forget to get those cards in the mail before the holidays arrive. They’re  the perfect networking tool. While you may just want to quickly sign each card and send it off, it’s best to take some time to add a personal message to each. Making them unique to you is very important.
  • Make the most of holiday parties: Adopt the “you first” approach. After engaging individuals through small talk, ask them some more focused questions that show you are really interested in them, hobbies, plans for the new year, personal and professional goals, etc. People will appreciate the interest you take in their lives, and they will reciprocate and remember you. Make sure that your holiday conversations include something specific on which you can follow up on (such as a job opening) after the holidays.
  • Refine your strategy: Update your résumé and cover letters. Consider hiring a professional career coach to help with personal marketing materials and strategy – after all, you’re not a professional jobseeker.
  • Research new target companies in your industry. Contact new recruiters who specialize in your discipline and industry – networking into them is best. Conduct salary research to determine your worth. Rediscover the stories that demonstrate who you are and what you can do for your next employer – stories are the best way to make an impression.
  • Document your goals and successes: Spend some time this holiday season jotting down what you really want from a new job and your career overall. Seeing it on paper is a good first step in outlining the strategy that will serve as a roadmap for you as you work to achieve your goals in 2018.
  • Remain positive: Nothing will happen for you if you don’t believe it can and will!

Your job search should definitely not take a vacation during the holiday season. While hiring may slow, it is important to keep your strategy and efforts in place. Don’t lose momentum! It’s more appropriate to reach out to people this time of year than at any other…make the most of it.

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson is ExecuNet's president and chief economist. An Arjay Miller Scholar, Mark received his MBA from Stanford University and a BA in economics from Yale University. He joined ExecuNet in 1993, with extensive marketing and new product and business development experience, having served as president and founder of A&M Associates, an investment management firm. Mark's corporate leadership experience includes several senior marketing and financial positions with RCA Global Communications (a GE subsidiary) and American Can Company.

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