For some businesses, the holidays can be a time to slow down and close up shop for a few days. But for others, they can be busy with customers trying to finish up their shopping or end-of-year tasks.
In either case you may feel like it’s not a great time to hand out job applications, but there are actually several advantages to job hunting during this time of year. Take a look at this post for reasons to continue your job search and tips to up your chances of landing a job over the holiday season.
Why You Should Keep Up Your Job Search Over the Holidays
Employers Will Hire All Year Long
For the most part, companies don’t want to wait too long before filling a vacant position, and opportunities can become available at any time of the year—even over the holidays.
For example, some people use the New Year as an opportunity to pursue different career goals and choose to leave their current employer, causing a backfill position that might just be a perfect fit for you.
You don’t want to miss an opportunity because you’ve assumed a company isn’t hiring. Be sure to check job postings regularly, or reach out to a company you would like to work for to let them know you’re interested. They might not have a position immediately available, but they may get in touch if something opens up that would match your skills and experience.
There’s Less Competition
Managing your personal life and professional life during the busy holiday season can be quite a feat, which is why many people will put off their job search until the New Year. But, if you can find time to send out applications, it’s likely your Resume will have a greater chance of making it into the hiring pool, since fewer people are applying.
In addition, some companies see the last business quarter as a time to finalize projects, deliver year-end reports, and set objectives for the New Year. These companies will want to ensure they have the resources to address the upswing in work load and fill in for employees who may be on holidays at this time.
Opportunities for Networking
More than anything, the holidays are about spending quality time with other people. So, of course, there will be plenty of holiday parties, volunteer initiatives, and professional networking opportunities for you to go to.
Bring along some business cards and rehearse an elevator pitch in case you make some new contacts. They may be able to give you an idea as to when a company is hiring, or help you tailor your Cover Letter to meet certain expectations.
Tips for a Successful Holiday Job Search
Searching for a job can be a complex process, which often involves sending out dozens of applications for several different positions to multiple companies. As such, it’s a good idea to organize your job search and keep track of all your applications, cover letters, resumes, and interviews. This way, you know where you’ve applied, what you’ve said to who, and whether or not they’ve followed up.
If you’ve kept track of your applications and haven’t heard back from a company for a while, you could always send a follow-up email to remind them you are still interested in the position.
Expect a Longer Response Time from Potential Employers
Understandably, some time might go by before an employer gets back to you. They might be away on a holiday vacation for a few days—or weeks—but intend to hire as soon as they return. Pay attention to “Out of office” email responses to estimate an appropriate time for a follow up message.
Remember, you don’t want to sound demanding or rude when sending a follow up. It’s good practice to have a second look at the job posting to see if they prefer you don’t reach out, or if a response date is provided.
Embrace a Seasonal Position
If you aren’t having any luck finding your dream job over the holidays, there’s a good chance you could find a temporary position if you start your job search before the holidays kick into high-gear. Many companies look for short-term workers over the busy season to accommodate an increase in customers.
This can be a great opportunity for you to earn some extra cash and stay afloat until you find a permanent position that matches your professional background.
Don’t Lose Your Momentum
If you stay organized and on top of the competition, there’s no reason your job search can’t stretch over the holidays. Take advantage of the goodwill season: attend holiday mixers, make new connections, and learn all you can about your desired field of work.
Remain diligent, devoted and optimistic. Remember that employers will want to hire whenever a position opens, but if there’s nothing permanent immediately available, you can always embrace a seasonal position to tide you over.
Job searching can be stressful, but don’t let it take over your holidays. These tips can help you to keep your job search focused and pointed, giving you time to enjoy the seasonal festivities.