TIS’ THE SEASON FOR JOB SEARCHING
Many job seekers are tempted to slow down their search for a new position (or pause it altogether) during the winter holiday season. But according to an article published by Monster.com, career experts say that taking a break from your holiday job search is a mistake — because hiring doesn’t stop.
At the end of the year, some companies rush to fill job openings that might otherwise be removed from next year’s budget, the article pointed out. Still other organizations will be looking ahead. “Jobs that might have been on hold until budgets are in place will become available in January,” said career expert Kimberly Bishop.
Roy Cohen, an executive coach agreed. “There’s a belief that recruiting shuts down during the holidays,” he said. “That’s a myth — so when other people take off from their job-searching during the holidays, you’re at an advantage should an opportunity surface. It’s all about numbers and odds.”
In fact, the holidays provide some distinct advantages and special opportunities for proactive job seekers. Here according to the Monster.com article are some ways to make the most of your holiday-seasonal job search:
- Be Flexible — Judi Perkins of FindthePerfectJob.com recalled: “When I was a recruiter, the holidays were one of my busiest times, and I was often on the phone either side of Christmas day.” This means that you should be prepared to interview at unusual times, to allow for a recruiter’s or hiring manager’s busy holiday schedule.
- Do Volunteer Work — All sorts of philanthropic organizations ramp up activities during the holidays – and volunteering can be a great way to network, gain skills and fill the gap that unemployment might otherwise leave on your resume. “You’ll meet other volunteers — great people who, by nature, will want to help,” Cohen added. “You’ll feel good, too.”
- Look into Temporary Positions — Many companies have end-of-year crunches — at the same time that many workers want to take time off — so they look to staffing agencies to fill gaps. A temporary position can be a great way to get your foot in the door at a new company.
- Use Holiday Social Events to Network –You don’t want to make every conversation about your job search — but letting people know how they can help you is crucial. “Have your pitch — who you are, what you want and why — ready and perfect,” Cohen advised. And try to keep things positive. When you tell people you’re looking for work, also tell them how you’ve been productive with your time off.
- Reach Out to Your Contacts — The holidays are a great reason to reach out to friends and acquaintances as well as to reconnect with people. “Send out a holiday greeting, but add a little extra in your message,” Cohen suggested. “Email or snail mail the card to everyone in your job search universe. It should be upbeat — that you continue and are committed to search for a great job and know that it is only a matter of time and timing.” Be sure to express your gratitude to those you reach out to and if you don’t know which holidays a contact celebrates, “Happy New Year” is a safe sentiment.
- Help People in Your Network — Remember that the holidays are a time for giving, so find ways to help the people in your network. They’ll be likelier to help you in the future.
- Recommit to Your Job Search — Lastly, start the year off right: Make an appointment with yourself to determine your goals for the coming year. Then schedule some time to update your resume, practice your interview skills and polish up on your personal brand.