Misconception: No One Hires During the Holidays
There is a big misconception that companies stop hiring during the holidays. Definitely not true! While the holidays do result in somewhat of a slow down, employers are still interviewing and hiring – some trying to use budget allocations before year-end, others getting new hires in place for January 1 new budget dollars. Keeping your job search active between Thanksgiving and the end of the year will not only get you to the front of the line for these openings, but because other job seekers believe the “no-hire-in December” myth and are slacking off, you will have less competition.
Here are a few more reasons why this is an ideal time to be job hunting and strategies to implement.
Multitude of networking opportunities
Holiday gatherings provide a relaxed, festive setting for networking. From local business and chamber of commerce events and trade association meetings to neighborhood gatherings, children’school events, church functions, and family parties, the possibilities are endless. Look at your invitations and prioritize according to who could be in attendance – instead of attending the same events that you´ve been to over the past six months, try something different where there is potential to meet new people who could be sources of job leads.
When attending any event be prepared with a 30-second sound byte that articulates the ideal position for you, your best “feature” as a candidate, and end by telling the person how they can help (i.e., “who do they know” not “do you know of any jobs”). And finally, be upbeat and positive! This is not the time to complain about how long you´ve been out of work or how grim Christmas morning will be for your kids. Your message needs to be you are excited by new possibilities and the opportunity to utilize your skills to benefit your next employer.
Take advantage of the holiday spirit
From networking to interviewing, everyone seems to be in a good mood around the holidays, plus the topic of the holidays is a great icebreaker. At an interview, chit-chat about the holiday crowds or the “busi-ness” of the season are natural topics that can ease you past those awkward first few moments. Same holds true at networking events, plus people seem more open and generous this time of year, so job leads and suggestions may flow more readily.
Connect or reconnect through holiday greetings
The holidays are a great excuse to reach out to former clients, vendors, co-workers, bosses, mentors, or college buddies. Send a card by snail mail or email and in addition to wishing them a good holiday or happy new year, update them on your job search. You can also reconnect with recruiters or hiring managers that you interacted with earlier in the year to remind them you are still available.
You may not have a job offer at the end of December, but by staying active you will be positioned ahead of the competition when the January hiring boom begins. The relationships you build while spreading holiday cheer can mean a successful end to your job search in 2011!
For more than two decades, Kathy Keshemberg, NCRW, CCMC and her team at A Career Advantage have been providing professionals with world-class resume consultation and writing, career coaching and personal branding services. For more information, visit www.acareeradvantage.com – or take advantage of Kathy´s offer for a free resume assessment by forwarding your resume firstname.lastname@example.org.