While it may seem counter-intuitive, looking for a job during the holidays is actually a great idea. Employers don’t stop hiring during December. In fact, statistics show that it is a time that many hiring managers spend searching for staff in order to be ready for the New Year. And many job seekers take a break during the final weeks of the year, so there may be less competition.
So polish up your resume, upgrade your list of companies to contact, and pick up the phone. As we recommend on our website and in our book, Jails to Jobs: Seven Steps to Becoming Employed, calling hiring managers and talking to them either by phone or in person, is the best way to find a job. You can also take advantage of all the parties you attend to network and collect contacts that might be able to help you in your efforts.
But back to December. We’re not the only ones who think that this is one of the best months to search for a job. Check out an excellent ebook, “New-Year-New-Job,” edited by Susan P. Joyce, president of NETability, Inc., and Meg Guiseppi, CEO of Executive Resume Writer.
It includes 101+ tips to help you conduct a productive end-of-year job search from the likes of Richard Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute, and 26 other job search experts.
Here are what we consider their top 10 tips, which have been rewritten, condensed and consolidated, with a few of our own ideas thrown in as well.
Top 10 holiday job search tips
- Keep in mind that many hiring managers are scrambling to fill positions by the end of the year, so they don’t lose the budget they have for those jobs.
- Also be aware that people tend to be more relaxed during December and may be more available and receptive to phone calls.
- Attend as many holiday parties as possible, whether they are professional affairs, or put on by the local chamber of commerce or a friend or relative. You never know who might show up at one of these events, so talk to as many people as possible, letting them know what type of position you are looking for and even some of the companies you are interested in possibly working for.
- Develop what one expert calls a “magic week” strategy, meaning the week between Christmas and New Years, when many executive assistants and other gatekeepers take vacation, and middle managers are often in charge. Take advantage of this situation by calling those people in the companies you are interested in.
- Let people who you exchange gifts with know that you would like something to help you in your job search, whether a particular book or two, a shirt or tie to wear to interviews, or even help with creating your resume or JIST card.
- Send holiday greeting cards to hiring managers you have interviewed with, contacts you’ve made through networking and just about everyone who has helped you in your job search. You may want to send New Year’s cards that will arrive after the holiday rush and receive more attention.
- Consider a holiday season temp job. Many employers, especially those in retail and shipping, hire extra employees during the holiday season. You can earn a bit of money and test out new opportunities.
- Encourage and assist other people who are also on the path to employment. It will not only help them but make you feel better as well.
- Volunteer during the holiday season, whether it’s serving meals at a homeless shelter, helping with a fundraising event or delivering presents to families in need. You will meet wonderful people, have new experiences, get out of the house and make a difference in the lives of others. Keep in mind that no matter how little you have, there are others who have less.
- Practice gratitude. Think of all the things you are grateful for, all the people who helped you on your job search this year and the progress you’ve made so far. It will boost your spirits and help you appreciate the holiday season even more.
Please contact us if you’ve tried any of these tips. We’d love to hear which ones worked for you.
We wish all of our readers a happy holiday season and success in their job search.