Job searches can be many things: nerve-wracking, frustrating, rewarding or even exciting, but one thing they often aren't is speedy. Because due diligence must be done on both sides of the hiring spectrum.
Finding the right fit can be just as hectic as the holiday season, but hiring teams are still working in December-- because there are still jobs to fill. As budgets are being finalized, most organizations like to have a head count in place for the New Year.
Getting your resume in front of the right person at the right moment is a major advantage, and when most job seekers tend to wind down their search as the holiday spirit ramps up, how you manage your time can position where your resume falls in the digital pile.
Take these time management tips into consideration when job searching in December -- and all year round.
1. Set up a work station
Ask yourself, where am I most comfortable? Do I work better at the coffee shop, at home or in the library? Sometimes a change in careers requires a change in scenery--especially if the home is getting festive with family and friends. So if you’re at home all day, shake it up and take your laptop over to Starbucks (or somewhere else with free wifi). The goal is to be comfortable, yet focused, so make sure to choose a workspace where you can tune into the job search and still tune out the distractions.
2. Have a schedule
Decide how many hours you can dedicate to your search, and keep yourself accountable to that schedule. If you say you’ll be researching for one full hour, clock yourself to be sure you’re meeting that commitment. And that doesn’t include travel time to the coffee shop, having that latté break or talking to the person at the table next to you. It’s an hour of work -- hard, focused work. Make sure to stick to your priorities, and tackle the most important things first thing in the morning when you’re fresh and ready to go.
3. Only apply to jobs you’re qualified for
About only 35% of applicants are actually qualified for jobs they apply to, and since your resume should be tailored to each job opening, don’t subject yourself to application fatigue by applying to positions you aren't qualified for--just to send out a resume. You may have transferable or soft skills that can relate to the position, but if the job requires five years of experience and you’re a recent grad or have only two years under your belt, keep looking.
4. Get offline
Sometimes going off the grid gets you back on track. The digital world is a time consuming one, with distractions at your finger tips, and they can interrupt the thoughtful work required for your job search.
Finding employment requires focus. Applying online is the way of the world, but consider breaking away from FaceTime for some face to face networking and socializing. The holidays are a great time to volunteer, and giving your time to an organization that supports your field of interest or industry can save you time on meeting the people who could be responsible for hiring decisions.
While you're busy wrapping your gifts this holiday season, don't feel obligated to wrap up your job search!
Are you working with a staffing agency to find your next great opportunity?