Many job seekers have told me that they want to put their searches on hold during the holidays because they don't believe they will see results during this period.
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This is a mistake! Despite the common opinion, many companies continue with their recruiting efforts during the holidays. While you might need to be more patient, there is a huge benefit in leveraging this slower time. With the proper strategy, it is possible to land your dream job – which will surely lead to some extra holiday cheer!
As a former agency and in-house recruiter, I can tell you that January is one of the busiest hiring months of the year – and the hires made in that month are being interviewed in November and December!
Increase Your Chances
With the end of the year approaching, many hiring managers are scrambling to fill positions that start in the beginning of January, when many organizations have fresh budgets to work with. Because many job seekers believe the holidays are not the time to hunt for work, there will be less competition for the positions you are interested in.
Because a lot of companies want to fill certain positions before the end of the year, they need to move quickly when making hiring decisions. If it is too difficult to get you in the office for an in-person interview, they will move on to the next candidate. If you're serious about getting a new job before the New Year, you might need to be flexible with your holiday travel plans. Be game for last-minute interview requests!
On the flip side, it is also important to be patient with your job search during this time of the year because many key decision-makers are traveling or on vacation. It might take a few extra days to coordinate schedules, set up an interview, or for the company to make an offer. As always, you should follow up with your interviewers in an appropriate and timely manner.
Find an organization you are passionate about or one that is related to your desired industry. Not only will volunteering give you some extra brownie points with Santa, but it is also a great way to network with other like-minded professionals, gain news skills, and fill in any employment gaps in your resume.
Obtain a Temporary Job
Accepting a temporary position is a great strategy for securing full-time employment during and after the holidays. Many companies deal with year-end crunches and extended employee vacations around this time, which means they could use some extra help!
Temping with a company is a great way to get introduced to hiring managers and get your foot in the door. It will also open up your network to new contacts. You can use your temporary position to learn news skills or hone existing ones, and taking temporary work also acts as a grace period for finding a permanent position. You can continue to apply to permanent roles while working and earning money!
The holiday season is a great time to reconnect with recruiters and hiring managers with whom you've interacted previously. Send them a holiday card (non-denominational!) or email that includes a brief sentence or two about your current job search.
You can also use this time to network! There may be industry-specific career fairs, holiday mixers, or networking meetings happening, and now is the perfect time to go and introduce yourself to some new connections.
Some people halt their job searches during the holidays, but now that you know better, you won't fall into that trap! Use the holiday season to increase your chances and leverage your connections.
Good luck, and happy holidays!
Carly Simms is the founder and owner of Hummingbird Recruiting.