If you’re about to put your job search on pause until after the holidays, please reconsider. Did you know that the holiday season might actually be the best time to apply to jobs, and has the potential to do wonders for your career search?
Here are the 5 reasons why the holidays are a great time for job seekers to get ahead, and some tips on how you can use this time to your advantage:
1) Spots Going to Waste
We’ve all heard those rumors about companies taking a break from hiring in December and resuming only well after the holidays. In reality, many employers are frantically trying to fill remaining openings before the New Year because of the fairly common “use it or lose it” policy for leftover spots. With a rapidly approaching deadline, hiring managers are more likely to hire (and hire fast!) the first person that seems to fit the job description. So make sure they have your resume!
For many companies, budgeting happens in the fall and as managers rethink priorities and positions, new openings might get created to fit the company’s growing needs for the upcoming year. The anticipated starting date for these jobs would fall on the beginning of the year. Do the math and it makes sense that the people getting hired for those spots send in their resumes and interview sometime during the holiday season.
2) Waning Competition
Many job seekers wholeheartedly believe that all their job-searching efforts during the holidays will be futile, and take a month-long break from sending in their applications. Not to mention, everyone is so distracted by the typical holiday frenzy that even the job seekers who have not completely backed off this season are much less active.
Use that to your advantage! Less competition means your odds of landing a job have just skyrocketed.
3) Networking Galore
The holidays provide an easy excuse to reconnect with your network and touch base with all your valuable business contacts. Catching up with acquaintances could alert you of new insider hiring opportunities, while extending well wishes to your past employers might improve the quality of the references they provide.
Keep in mind that people are generally less busy with work (and in a more giving spirit) during the holidays, so they’d be more likely to assist you with your job search. Now is the time to get input on your resume, schedule those informational interviews, or ask for new introductions.
Furthermore, the abundance of holiday activities makes for easy new networking opportunities. From holiday parties to volunteering opportunities, the season is full of chances to meet new people who may prove to be invaluable in your job search.
4) Spark Up Conversation
With the end of the year, many employers are redefining the company goals and initiatives. Now more than ever, the hiring manager will have a clear idea of what the company’s long-term and short-term plans are, meaning it’s the best time for you to see the direction the company is headed in.
At an interview, make sure to inquire about these things. Ask leading questions about the company’s priorities for the upcoming year. Not only will you get a better sense of the company and whether or not it’s a good fit for you, you’ll have an extra chance to sell yourself. Tell your interviewer about the skills you possess that will help the company solve the challenges that will arise.
5) Self Improvement
With the extra free time you have during the holidays, do all those things you’ve been putting off that could make a difference in your job search. Rewrite your resume, update your LinkedIn profile, print out some business cards.
If you know you’re going to be receiving gifts and don’t know what to ask for, channel your job search into your wish list. Ask for things that can help you succeed, such as items to complete your interview look or resume prep books.
Armed with that knowledge you can now take advantage of this holiday season and get the most out of your job search. If you pump up the volume while everyone else is laying low the employers are bound to notice.