When the holiday season rolls around, many people lose motivation to continue hunting for a new job. But there are many reasons to instead increase your efforts during this merry season.
These 9 strategies will show you how to tap into the holiday spirit and use it to strengthen your job search.
9 Strategies For Job Hunting During the Holidays
One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.
– Lucille Ball
1. Don’t slow down your job search, speed it up
A lot of people hit the brakes on job-hunting during the holiday season. This means that if you hit the accelerator on yours, you will fly past all those taking a pit stop until January before they restart the hunt.
The idea that companies stop hiring during the holiday season is simply not true. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) the number of job openings in December 2016 wasn’t far off that of January 2017 — approximately 5.4 versus 5.6 million. In addition, the hiring rate in December and January only differed by 0.1% (3.6% vs 3.7%).
Since there’s a lull in job applications during the holidays followed by a huge influx in the new year, you have a much higher chance of being part of the 3.6% in December than the 3.7% in January. Fewer applications means it’s much easier to get noticed by the hiring manager in December and thus, get hired.
Also, even if you don’t manage to get hired in December, your aggressive pursuit of employment will still put you one step ahead of the masses come the new year.
2. Make an early (New Year’s) resolution
Many people view the new year as an opportunity to better themselves, so they set New Year’s resolutions to drive them toward accomplishing their goals. But why wait until the new year? Making an early resolution can help you get the ball rolling.
Rather than throwing yourself into the new year job application stampede, get ahead of the crowd and snag that position early. This way your real resolution can be about excelling in your new job, allowing you to start out the new year on a positive note.
3. Use holiday greeting cards to follow up interviews
It’s common courtesy to follow up an interview with a thank you email, but the holidays give you a unique opportunity to take this practice one step further. Write a nice, handwritten card wishing the hiring manager happy holidays and thanking them for the interview.
A well-written card will show your sincere interest in the job and spread the holiday cheer — both of which will leave a positive impression on the hiring manager. There’s nothing that warms the heart more than a lovely holiday greeting card.
4. Use time off work to update your resume
If you’re someone who is employed and looking to change jobs, it’s difficult to find time to properly focus on updating your resume. The holiday season is a great opportunity to get this all-important task done.
The extra days off give you the time you need to scour through examples and guides in your industry. Spending time to get inspiration from samples and reading up on the latest resume trends can help you ensure that your resume updates are on point.
Consider making some of the following updates to yours:
- Changing your career objective to a professional profile or qualifications summary
- Categorizing your skills section
- Adding recent professional achievements
- Enhancing your bullet points with quantification
By reading through resume examples and guides, you can be sure you have a solid resume that will impress the hiring manager and help you land that dream job.
5. Go to holiday parties and network with people in your industry
Nowadays, as many as 85% of all jobs are filled through networking, so you should never miss out on any chances to network. December is a particularly opportune time for networking due to the wide-variety of holiday parties. Do some research to find one in your industry and get mingling.
Holiday parties are particularly great for networking because the casual setting allows you to have fun and get to know people in your industry without the usual stress. Remember to bring business cards with you and hand them out to all the new people you meet. But don’t overtly market yourself – hand them out as a professional greeting.
6. Network with friends and family
Although networking with professionals in your industry is still the ideal, never underestimate the power of using friends and family to help expand your network. For all you know, wacky Uncle Jim just might have a friend looking to hire someone in your profession.
So, as much as we sometimes don’t like to spend time with all our crazy relatives, the increased interaction we have with extended family and friends over the holidays is an opportunity to talk to them about our job search and get potential leads on employment opportunities.
7. Seek temporary employment at your target company
Companies are frequently understaffed during the holiday season, usually due to increased business or people simultaneously taking time off. This is your chance to get a foot in the door by offering to work temporarily or even volunteer at your target company.
If you work hard and prove yourself, a temporary seasonal job could easily turn into a permanent position. But even if it doesn’t, your experience there will give you a leg up on the competition when it comes time to apply for open positions in the future.
8. Get a temporary, seasonal retail job
Alternatively, if you can’t find short-term work at your target company, there are tons of retail stores hiring temporary employees during the holidays. If you’re unemployed, the holiday season can be an especially trying time. Getting a seasonal retail job will give you the temporary influx of income you need to survive while you continue your search and make applications.
In addition, the employee discount you get is a great chance to take extra advantage of holiday sales and get yourself some new interview clothes. Nothing boosts confidence more than a new, crisp set of threads.
9. Send Your LinkedIn network holiday greetings
During the holidays, we often jump on our social media accounts to send good tidings to friends and family we haven’t contacted in a while. LinkedIn should be no different, albeit more professional.
Take the holidays as an opportunity to reach out to recruiters or contacts in your industry with season’s greetings. It’s a subtle yet jovial way of reminding them of your existence. Plus, they’ll likely respond by taking a look at your profile. If they like what they see, an interview could be just around the corner.