The holidays can bring out the festive cheer or bah hum bug blues in us all, but if you find yourself dwelling within the realm of unemployment during the festive season—things may not be seem so jolly.
Alas, don't despair!
When all you want for Christmas is a contract, 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 little hiring elves...... they're still working!
Take these holiday job search tips into consideration to gift yourself that contract!
Why you should be looking
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 requirement comes into a recruiter’s hands before the offer is extended to a candidate. Then, it can also take an additional 5-7 days with background checks before anyone's walking into a new role. "We still have great roles open all through December for January starts," says Valerie Anderson-Migliore, a Technical Recruiter with Procom. "Hiring Managers are keen to interview and hire in December for January starts."
If you put your job search on hold while decking the halls in December, it could take you until February to start a new position. So, keeping the momentum going over the holidays can translate into employment in January or sooner.
2. Less competition
Many of your role-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. Justin Taylor, an Account Manager with Procom says, "There will be less active seekers applying and searching for jobs. You have the potential of having less competition. It shows you are hungry for a change."
3. Budgets are being 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,” says Wendy Kennah, Procom's 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. Parties are great for networking
Take advantage of the festivities and parties with professional acquaintances, family, friends and neighbours. Making connections over the holidays opens the door to learning of new opportunities. However, a word to the wise: Pulling your resume out of your bag isn’t a favoured party trick.
5. People are nicer
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.
How should you be looking?
Build your online network
Reconnect with old friends and acquaintances on Facebook or LinkedIn and/or touch base with a recruiter you’re friendly with.
Be Flexible and patient
There’s definitely last minute hiring happening.
Hiring managers are trying to juggle interview schedules, vacation and personal time -- If you’re flexible with the when and where, it may be the difference between you and another candidate who wasn’t. Yet, be patient! Things can take longer. Other decision makers in the hiring process could be on vacation, so don't fret if you don't hear back right away. It might just mean that the signing authority took off for a family vacation. Follow up to show you're still interested, but don’t take the silence as lack of interest.
There are great volunteer roles out there that create an opportunity to meet with people you wouldn’t normally get to meet, and these temporary duties can turn into full-time gigs. (They can also fill the gap in your resume.)
Are you working with a staffing agency over the holidays?