You’d be wrong … if you think a Christmas job search is counterproductive.
In fact, searching for new employment during the holiday is a perfect time.
On outward appearances, we appear busier during the Christmas season.
Yet, we have more free time than we think.
Most job roles slow down during the holidays.
For example, there are fewer meetings scheduled. Fewer contracts signed. Fewer website visitors and leads.
More professionals take advantage of extra holiday time off and paid vacation.
Therefore, tapping into the natural ebbs and flows of your work schedule can give you the time needed to:
- Follow-up with new and existing job leads.
Focus on the 20% of job leads that are likely to give you 80% of your success.
Also, avoid following up with those “long shot” jobs and learn more about what recruiters and employers really mean when they say things like…
- Connect with those who’ve been unreachable.
- Boost your LinkedIn connections and communications.
Here are some great ideas to help with your LinkedIn efforts: here’s what to do when a recruiter has viewed your LinkedIn profile.
A key topic we cover in our job-search coaching program is how important that “last pocket of free time” can give our clients a much-needed boost of success.
Many new positions are funded to start with a new budget year, which often coincides with a new calendar year.
Hiring companies have budgets that MUST be spent before year’s end.
Essentially, a “use it or lose it” hiring policy.
Both of these scenarios offer opportunities for job seekers in December.
The holidays also offer some natural opportunities to network. For example, you can network during:
- Company Parties
- Social Gatherings
- Year-End Professional Association Events
Many of these strategies are available whether you’re unemployed, have a job, or are looking to improve your job situation.
Working on your job search during the holidays may also mean less competition from other candidates who put their job search on hold.
Many people wait until January — making it a New Year’s Resolution — to look for a new job. If you wait until January 2 to start — or resume — your job search, you’ll have more competition.
It may even be easier to connect with a hiring manager during December as key personnel is in the office while the lower-level staff takes paid holiday time off during the month.
Even if you aren’t offered a job in December, you can lay a lot of the groundwork by making connections before the end of the year, making it more likely that you’ll be hired quickly in the New Year.
Here are 6 advanced strategies to boost your job search during the holidays:
- #1 Show Your Face & Help Others. Volunteering your time can go a long way to building your connections and further build your career network. Some of the best places to volunteer include non-profit agencies, including retirement and homeless facilities as well as food pantries.
You can find volunteer opportunities by Googling “nonprofits near me.”
If volunteering with a for-profit organization is more your speed, area Chambers of Commerce and Rotary Clubs can help.
- #2 Create a networking/resume card.
You’ll find an example networking card at the right.
A networking card is much like a business card.
It contains many of the details you’d expect, such as name, phone, email, and so on. Yet, your networking card can also include links to your online social media properties, such as the URL to your LinkedIn profile and your @Twitter handle.
A networking/resume card could include quick details about your career successes too.
Here’s an example of that in action:
“Cut inventory costs by 23.8%” and “Awarded Manager of The Year – 3x Recipient”
- #3 Get help where others are not
A great way of tapping your network is to ask for connections. Too many professionals avoid this step.
Sites like LinkedIn make introductions to specific employers easier by showing you who in your network is connected to certain employers.
Ideally, you’ll ask for introductions from those you know fairly well.
It’s not frowned upon to ask for an introduction from someone you don’t know; however, you’ll need to proceed cautiously when asking people you don’t know for an introduction.
Not sure what LinkedIn introductions are?
A LinkedIn introduction is when you ask someone in your network to introduce you someone in theirs.
Although introductions can be highly effective for cultivating job leads and referrals, few professionals request introductions on LinkedIn.
If you haven’t set up (or fleshed out) your LinkedIn profile, get the lead out.
LinkedIn Recruitment generates nearly $3 billion in revenue.
Do you know what $3 billion represents?
That number represents a massive population of hiring personnel who are using LinkedIn’s premium feature to recruit candidates.
- #5 Connect with your current/past colleagues as well as new and old friends.
The fastest way of getting job leads and more employment referrals is to connect with the people who know you.
LinkedIn makes this task easy for you for allowing you to upload your contacts to their database.
Once you’ve uploaded your contacts, they will automatically send those contacts a LinkedIn invitation/request to connect.
Don’t overuse this feature. If too many people say they “don’t know this person” when declining your LinkedIn invitations that can get your profile restricted.
- #6 Search for & connect with recruiters.
Recruiters are very much sales professionals.
They have year-end recruitment goals.
This means they do a final year-end push to fill assignments with hiring companies.
Not sure where to find recruiters? The “lowest hanging fruit” is to find recruiters on LinkedIn.
Here are a few lists of recruiters to get you started:
- Sales Recruiters
- Technical Recruiters
- Healthcare Recruiters
- Marketing Recruiters
- Inventory Recruiters
- Government Recruiters
- Purchasing Recruiters
Conducting a job search in December isn’t without its challenges.
While some hiring managers are hard at work throughout the month, others may be on vacation.
Some companies close their doors between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
If it’s your goal to find a new job by the New Year, don’t put off your job search just because it’s the holiday season.
A job search that starts in December gives you momentum and a head start on other candidates who wait and start their search on January 1.