How to Search for a Job During the Holidays
By Stacia Pierce
If you are in the midst of a job search, don’t count yourself out when the holiday season hits. As the year winds down and the holidays approach, many people begin to feel like they are running out of time on their job search, and they end up giving up until the New Year. However, the holidays are actually a great time to be searching for a job. There are two key reasons why.
First, many companies ramp up hiring during the holiday season to offset high traffic and large volume production. Often they also keep some of the best seasonal workers, offering them full time employment. Budgeting has a lot to do with it. If a department has money left in the budget as they near the end of the year they have to spend it, or else they won’t be allotted those funds the next year. As companies finalize and release their budgets for the coming year, money for staffing becomes available. In many cases this means new jobs! Positions that may have been unfilled for months will get posted and filled quickly as managers prepare for the New Year.
Second, a lot of other job seekers are taking a “holiday.” Although it can be tempting to take a break, if you are looking for a job it’s in your best interest not to take any down time from your search. However, most job seekers take the holidays to do just that. They choose to relax and spend time with family, backing off of their search for six to eight weeks. But think of all that can happen in that time period: You could apply, interview, be hired and start a new job! If you are motivated, this is the ideal time for you to go after available opportunities. You will have less competition and increase your chances of landing that dream job.
Here are a few tips to give you the best advantage during your holiday job search:
Attend networking parties and holiday events. The holidays are a time of celebration. Always be prepared to network, even if you’re going to a party hosted by friends or family. You never know who you will meet or what job connection you will make. Introduce yourself to new people and if the opportunity presents itself, casually let them know that you are in the job market. If you belong to a professional organization in your field, make sure to attend at least one event during the holidays. Have business or contact cards ready to hand out, and gather as many cards as you can and follow up!
Another great tool you can use for your holiday-season job search is greeting cards. Expand your holiday greeting card list beyond close relatives. Send cards to people you want to reconnect with who can help you get your foot in the door of a desired job, people you have worked with in the past, recruiters who may have otherwise forgotten you, and hiring managers who interviewed you but didn’t offer you a job at that time. A holiday card might be just the thing to remind the necessary people in the workforce that you are a great potential candidate.
Use the holidays as a way to bond and turn things in your favor during interviews. Meeting with someone when they’re in a cheery holiday mood, or feeling the spirit of generosity, could be all it takes to bring a job offer your way. Use the season as a conversation icebreaker. Everyone can relate to the busyness and stress that this time of year can bring. You can make yourself relatable and create an instant bond with a potential employer through this casual opening to the conversation.
Consider temporary, project-based or consulting work during the holidays. Offering and being open to doing this type of work could lead to a permanent position down the road. It puts you back in the work force and makes a great addition to your resume.
Stay personable and professional with your social media accounts. Stay focused on your job search when using social media. Just because it’s the holidays, your stream shouldn’t switch to photo after photo of grandma’s pie or posts about that funny thing your 2-year-old nephew said at dinner. Mix those things in sparingly, but otherwise keep your accounts on a professional level. Remember that your social media image can ultimately make or break your job search.
With these tips in mind, the holiday season can be a successful one for you and your career. Here’s to you ringing in the New Year with your new job — cheers!
Stacia Pierce is a life coach, career expert and CEO of Ultimate Lifestyle Enterprises.
Great article Stacia. I found my current job during the holidays last year. I went to a holiday party and met my current co-worker and after exchanging pleasantries, I found out that they had a need and I was just the one to fill it.
This was a great, inspirational article!