Title:Holiday Job Hunting: Don't put your resume on the shelf and don your dancing shoes...
"Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Yup — it is here — the "official" holiday season. . The time of the year when parties abound, there are presents to buy and the time of the year when no one finds a job ...
Wrong! And so wrong especially this year!
Every year I get on the same soapbox after hearing over and over again ...
"... I am going to lay low until after the New Year... ".
Not a good strategy for sure, and this is why I thought I would visit this again with some tips you can use starting today.
2013 is SOOOO Different: Diffusing the Myth
The true fact is this: Companies continue to hire during the holiday season but job hunters quit looking. As a recruiter and corporate human resources executive job openings continue during December just when many job seekers put their resume on the shelf for the holiday season. There is no statistical proof that there are fewer new job openings in the month of December versus other time of the year. In fact, many say it is just the opposite. Hiring isn't driven by a calendar, it is driven by need.
This past week, the week of Thanksgiving, the job market normally gets a bit quiet on the Monday — Tues — Wed before the holiday. Not just year. In fact, the market jumped 14% in that week — unheard of. There is confidence in the market, perhaps fueled by the stock market, and employers are now hiring strong. To put your resume on the shelf for the season makes no sense; there are good jobs in the market right now.
Many companies want to tie up loose ends — and that means hiring
In many companies, hiring actually heats up in December as managers and business owners have money left in their budgets and want to spend their budget rather than potentially losing it. Still others want to tie up loose ends before the end of the year — and this includes filling open positions.
Many are also surprised to learn that the holiday season is also a popular time for people to give their notice and move on, to get a fresh start in a new job for the New Year. The result — more job opportunities for others.
So I hope you get the message.
Six Tips for Your Holiday Job Search
So, before you buy into the myth, put your resume on the shelf and don your dancing shoes, consider the following actions:
1 — Use holiday events as networking opportunities — Every event, party, children's school function, gathering etc. is an opportunity for you to network, make a new contact. During the holidays there are generally more events — and more opportunities! This past week Vikki and I went to five networking events ... and next week it continues.
2 — Volunteer and make new contacts — Get involved with a charity or group during the holiday season. Often the pillars of the community either attend or help at these events and for you, which means an opportunity to make great contacts — and give back to the community at the same time.
3 — Rather than holding back on search activities — heat up your actions — While I hope I have enlightened you to keep the search activities going, others still won't and there will be less competition and fewer candidates giving you a better competitive opportunity.
4 — Close down loose ends — contacts, follow-ups, applications — What better time of the year to close down your "to do" list of contacts and follow-ups and tie up you own loose ends.
5 — Make yourself flexible & available and keep in contact — What is miserably frustrating to a recruiter is the inability to get in touch with potential candidates who "check-out" during holiday weeks. They just don't check their email and messages go unreturned. Stay connected!
6 — Set goals — celebrate wins — visualize success — You may have heard the expression "You cannot manage what you cannot manage". In career & job search, it is critical that you set goals, and set daily actions to achieve your goals, especially when outside factors — like holiday activities — can be distracting. I utilize the Get Hired NOW! methodology with my clients which focuses on goal setting, drives results through doing simple and planned actions every day, and celebrates the achievement of goals. As an idea, set a goal for making X-number of networking contacts this holiday season — and celebrate when you hit your goal!
Keep the pressure on and take advantage of less competition in the market as some will just not take advice and hang it up for the season. You can win!