If all you want for Christmas is a contract in the new year, that's a gift you can give yourself this holiday season.
Because, while it's common to assume all hiring comes to a screeching halt when the holiday cheer ramps up - the truth is that jobs are still being made, and recruiters are still working to fill them.
So, whether you're home for the holidays or taking a family vacation, here's how you can gain a competitive advantage in your job search over Christmas:
There are jobs!
There are still lots of jobs being created in the month of December. It can often take 25- 30 days from the time a requirement comes into a recruiter’s hands before an offer can be extended. Then, it can also take an additional 5-7 days with background checks before the right fit is 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. Keeping the momentum going over the holidays can translate into employment in January or sooner.
You’ll have less competition
Many job seekers may slow down for the very reason you’re thinking of not revving up your own search, and less competition can put your application to the top of the list. Recruiters get way more resumes in their inboxes during 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.
Budgets are getting finalized
While the kids 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.
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 neighbors. Making connections over the holidays opens the door for someone in your network or community that may know of an opportunity.
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.
Things can take longer during the holiday season, as key decision makers may be out on vacation. So if you aren't hearing back right away about the next stage, it doesn't necessarily mean that your interview didn’t go well and you shouldn't take the silence for a lack of interest. Instead of giving up, be sure to follow up to show you're still interested.
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. And volunteer roles can also turn into full-time gigs. Volunteering in a field of your interest will also fill any current gap on your resume.
Remember: Keeping a positive attitude during your job search during the festive season can have you singing fa la la la la into a new job in the new year.
Are you working with a staffing agency to find your next great opportunity?