Santa isn’t the only one who keeps lists. Potential employers do too. And just like the big man in the red suit, these list keepers are also taking a look at what you’ve been up to all year.
When all you want for Christmas is employment, there are a few things you can do to help get yourself on a potential employer’s nice list. It’s easy to believe that the hiring process slows down when the holiday cheer amps up, but the truth is, recruiters are like the elves. They’re still working.
So here's why you should still be working your job search over the holiday season.
Why should you should be looking in December
1.There are jobs!
There are still lots of jobs being created in the month of December. Here’s the thing: It can often take 25- 30 days from the time a requirements comes into a recruiter’s hands on a contract before the offer is extended to a Candidate. Then it can also take an additional 5-7 days with background checks before you’re walking through the door. If you put your job search on hold while decking the halls in December, it could take you until February to start a new role. So keeping the momentum going over the holidays can translate into employment in January or sooner.
2. You’ll have less competition
Many of your rivals may slack off for the very reason you’re thinking of not revving up your own search. Let them! Less competition can put your application to the top of the list and get noticed by a lot more people. Recruiters get way more resumes in their inboxes in January than they get gifts under the tree in December, so if you send yours during a slower period, it’s more likely to stand out. It’s like a gift that doesn’t cost a thing.
3. Budgets are getting finalized
While the kiddies count the days until Santa, hiring managers are realizing they need a headcount in place for the upcoming year. As much as managers would like to slow down and put off the hiring till the new year, “There is sometimes nothing more satisfying than hiring your people to have them in place for when you return from the holidays, versus thinking about it over the holidays.” And that’s a direct quote from Procoms director of recruitment. Vacancies often materialize soon after year-end bonuses are paid, and there's usually a rush to get the roles filled.
4. Great Networking Opportunities
While you’re spreading the good cheer over the holidays, be sure to also harold your candidacy. Take advantage of holiday parties with family, friends and neighbours. Making connections over the holidays opens the door for someone in your network or community that may know of an opportunity. Although a word to the wise, pulling your resume out of your bag isn’t a favoured party trick.
5. People tend to be friendlier during the holidays
No one wants to come off as a Scrooge, so managers are often more open to having informational meetings, and you never know where that will take you. If you do happen to meet, make sure you follow up with a ‘thank you’ note. And since it is the holidays, dropping off a small box of cookies or chocolates would make you memorable.
How should you be looking?
- Build your online network over the holidays.
Reconnect with old friends and acquaintances on Facebook or LinkedIn and/or touch base with a recruiter you’re friendly with via a sincere greeting and a side note that you’re on the market.
- Be Flexible and patient
There’s definitely last minute hiring happening, and managers are trying to juggle interview schedules, vacation and personal schedules-- If you’re flexible when you would be able to interview, it may be the difference between you and another candidate who wasn’t. The hiring manager will also appreciate that you made his or her life a lot easier! Also, be Patient! Things can take longer. There are Decision Makers out on vacation so it might not mean that the killer interview didn’t go well. It might just mean that the signing authority took off for a family vacation to Florida for a week. Follow up to show you are still interested, but don’t take the silence as lack of interest.
There are great volunteer opportunities out there that create an opportunity to meet with people you wouldn’t normally get to meet in your current sphere. These volunteers’ roles can also turn into fulltime gigs. They’re also very rewarding to help to build up your self-confidence and provide a sense of purpose. It will get out of the house as well as fill a gap on your resume.
And always remember to keep positive!
Unemployment is a temporary state. It’s not who you are and doesn’t define you, so if you keep a positive attitude during your job search, the festive season can have you singing fa la la la la into a new job in the new year.