Are you thinking about putting your job search on hold during the holidays? If so, think again. Contrary to popular opinion, this is a great time of year to find a job. Employers don't stop hiring just because it's the holidays. The holiday season is a terrific time of year to network. And, there is often less competition for available jobs because many job seekers drop out of the job market at this time of year, at least temporarily.
So use the holiday season to your advantage and make the most out of the opportunities you’ll have to connect with family, colleagues, friends and acquaintances. Also make the most of the job opportunities you come across during the holidays, and don’t hesitate to apply for open positions. For businesses, the needs that drive hiring throughout the year don't change just because the paid holidays are bunched up on the last pages of the calendar.
Here are a few tips to keep your job search active and healthy during the holidays:
Job search engines like Indeed.com and LinkUp.com are a good way to find job listings fast. Apply as soon as you find jobs that you are qualified for so you won’t miss out on what could be an excellent opportunity.
Companies often want to get a new hire in place before the first of the year. The more flexible you are, the more opportunities you’ll have to interview. Be willing to juggle your schedule to arrange an interview time that’s convenient for the hiring manager.
(Don’t worry about the new job conflicting with your holiday plans. Secure a job offer, and after you have an offer in hand you can negotiate a starting date that’s convenient for both you and your future employer.)
Connect With Your Online Contacts
Take the time to update and optimize your online profiles. Every job seeker should have a presence on LinkedIn and Facebook. Make sure your profile is fully completed with employment, education, and other relevant information, and ask your LinkedIn connections for references.
Check to see who you know that you aren’t connected with and add them to your lists of contacts. The more contacts you have, the more people you have who can provide career advice and job search help.
Also, touch base with your LinkedIn connections and your Facebook friends. This is a perfect time of year to say hello, send a holiday greeting and inform your contacts that you’re seeking work or looking for a career change.
Make the Most of Networking Opportunities
The holiday season is full of opportunities to network. Look at every event you attend as a chance to meet someone who can help with your job search. Holiday parties, family gatherings, community activities and other special events can all enhance your employment opportunities. You never know who you might meet.
Bring some business cards printed with your name, phone number, email address and the URL of your LinkedIn profile. Pass them out to contacts, and they will serve as a reminder that you’re job searching, as well as providing an easy way for people to get in touch with you.
Send a Holiday or New Year’s Card
Make a positive impression the old-fashioned way. Buy a couple of boxes of holiday greeting cards a and take the time to hand-write and mail thank-you notes to those people who have assisted with your job search or helped you achieve your career goals.
Everyone likes to be thanked and the holiday season is a perfect opportunity to say thank you to colleagues, recruiters or those who have interviewed you.
Take Some Time for Yourself
Dedicate time to your job search, but be sure to enjoy some personal time, even if you don’t feel much like celebrating. Taking a break and a bit of time off can help you keep a healthy focus on your job search.