While on the surface looking for a job during the holidays may not seem like a good idea, in fact it’s quite the opposite. Many job search experts say that the period between the first of November and the end of the year might be the best time to find a job. And here are the most important reasons why:
- Many people, especially those who have been looking for a long time, decide to take the holiday season off. That means there is less competition for the jobs that are open.
- A lot of companies are finalizing their budgets for the next year, and some may also be in the process of hiring to meet their beginning-of-the-year staffing requirements.
- The trade show season is over and few organizations schedule conferences during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so people are more likely to be around.
- Since the atmosphere tends to be more relaxed and festive at the end of the year, the hiring managers are likely to be in a good mood.
- Departments may have money left over in their budgets at the end of the year that must be used or they will lose it, and in some cases this can be applied toward a new hire.
These are the reasons to maintain or even increase your job search efforts during the holidays, but there are some things to keep in mind – and actions to take – that will improve your odds of finding a job at this time of year.
Make sure to keep up what you’ve already been doing. Continue making the number of cold calls you’ve decided to make each day. Check the online job boards. This is a particularly good time to do that, because fewer people are out looking during the holidays. Call your list of contacts.
On top of that, send holiday cards to any hiring managers you’ve interviewed with recently or even those you talked to on the phone or met at a networking event. Write a short note stating that you really enjoyed meeting or talking to them and that you’re still interested in the possibility of pursuing employment at their company.
If you can’t afford to send paper holiday cards, you might want to try e-cards, although they’re less effective, since they might be deleted without being opened.
Either way, the effort of a sending a card will help them remember you and maybe reconsider your qualifications. Also, there probably aren’t too many people doing this, so it will set you apart.
You might want to include on your holiday card list anyone who has given you a referral or a recommendation, thanking them once again for doing so.
Attend as many holiday parties as you are invited to. You never know who might show up at your cousin Jeremy’s open house or your friend Suzanne’s holiday brunch. Get to know new people at these parties and reconnect with old friends to let them know you’re looking for a job.
Take seasonal work. Places like retail stores and UPS hire lots of extra help during the holidays. Although by now some of these places have already hired, you may want to check in with them, since temporary holiday workers can be unreliable, and opportunities may open up. While many of these places hire directly, temporary agencies also often have an increase in requests for workers by employers at this time of year, so you might want to register with one of them.
Working on a seasonal job will not only give you some money to put away but will also give you something to add to your resume, new contacts and potentially a lead to a future job.
No matter what else you do, however, make sure to to look for work in the coming weeks, because landing a job just might be the best present you receive this holiday season.
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