Have a Happy Holiday Season Job Search with These Five Tips

If you’re looking for a new job, the holidays might just be the season you take a big step forward.

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You can certainly keep shopping for big-screen TVs and the like if you can handle the crowds eat like a glutton, write Christmas cards and enjoy the company of family and friends.

Just don’t think that the job market slows down or even takes time off at the end of the year. Some years the federal government revs up their hiring so have your federal resume ready to apply. If you would like guidance on everything from writing your resume, handling the application process or working with an interview coach, contact us today.

There are many reasons you should carve out some time for your job search between carving your Thanksgiving turkey and ringing in the new year. We’ll narrow it down to the top five.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for networking

Hopefully you and your spouse will be invited to plenty of holiday functions, perhaps an office Christmas party, a social hour at a pub or a New Year’s Eve party. You might not have seen friends and acquaintances for quite some time, so now would be a perfect time to update them on job search, including if it’s stalled and you could use a few tips.

You might just run into the right person who knows of an opening you’ll be qualified for, or maybe that person has heard of a company that’s hiring in your field. Don’t think that these functions are off limits for talking about your job search. Pretty much anything goes, and you never know who you might run into or find yourself in conversation with. Be bold, without overdoing it, of course. If you don’t know everybody, introduce yourself. Be sure to remember who you’ve spoken with. Ask for a business card and make sure you have plenty of your own to pass out. Jot down a few notes on a napkin if need be.
The holidays are also a great time to reach out to friends, acquaintances and even former co-workers. Let them know you’re looking for a new job and ask if they have any leads or contacts. If you get a great tip, be sure to act on it as soon as you can.

Companies know their needs for the New Year

By the time the holidays roll around, companies should have a good idea of their budget and hiring needs for the new year. If you land an interview during the holidays and receive an offer, you might even be able to negotiate a higher salary and/or a more flexible starting date. You might be negotiating from a position of strength because company budgets won’t be stressed as they might be at other times of the year. And if you’re hired at this time of year, it might just coincide with that company either shutting down toward the end of the year so everyone can take some time off, or at least slowing operations. That might give you more time to wrap up your old job and prepare for your new one.

Less competition

Take advantage of the fact that other job seekers might shut down their search to enjoy the holidays and maybe even push it into the New Year. That might be fine for them, but you should be motivated to keep looking throughout the holidays. There will always be plenty of postings on the job boards, although that approach should make up a relatively small percentage of your job search strategy. You can enjoy the holiday festivities while continuing to submit resumes and applications. It’s a great time to develop a federal resume since government jobs are always plentiful. That little extra effort might just be the break you need to land an interview.

Do your prep work for a shot at a job in the New Year

Even if you don’t land a job or an interview during the holidays, at least keep looking and applying. That could set you up for an interview with companies that prefer to do their hiring early in the New Year. There are a few reasons for this, including budgets and companies ramping up operations after either shutting down or cutting back during the holidays. If companies are hiring, sometimes they prefer to wait until January to train new employees. Part of that could be because the employees responsible for training newcomers are taking time off during the holidays. Keep checking job postings because companies aren’t going to wait around if they have an opening to fill. If you are paying attention and someone else isn’t, you might get a resume and application into a hiring manager’s hands and land an interview, even if it’s scheduled for early in the new year. While everyone loves the holidays, companies are still performing their core business functions even as the snow piles up outside.

Use your time wisely

If you are taking vacation from your current job during the holidays, use that time wisely to update your resume and begin applying for jobs. If you continue to work during the holiday season, find an hour or two here and there during your free time and days off to keep the job search going. Sending out a resume and application here and there will add up and might give you a jump on jobs. Federal jobs are always plentiful during the holiday season so make sure your federal resume is ready to send. You’ll still have time for all your usual holiday activities, including shopping and spending time with family and friends. Even a trip to the mall might give you a lead on a job to apply for.
Be diligent and productive. This is the time for good cheer and hopefully that will help keep you motivated. If you make significant progress, reward yourself with a stocking stuffer or a glass of Eggnog, or both. A new job, or at least a path toward one, could lead to the happiest holiday of all.
Contact us or call 800-471-9200 today for a free, no-obligation quote on how we can help you in all aspects of your job search.

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