Why and How to Job-Hunt Over the Holidays
Whether you are unemployed in December, or contemplating a career change, don’t think about winding down your job-hunting activities until the New Year. There are two very good reasons for this: the first is that many other job-hunters believe it’s a waste of time to search for a new position during the holiday season. While it’s true that most of us are preoccupied with holiday events and shopping, many decision-makers use this end-of-year period as a time of business planning: in other words they are working and perhaps even available to meet you.
The second reason is that if you are diplomatic and professional in your search activities over the next 2-3 weeks, you are going to stand out in a positive way. You will be making a concerted effort to advance your career when many others are waiting for what they consider a better time.
Surprised by this advice? – you may be interested to learn about a bit of research we’ve conducted on your behalf. No less a business publication than Forbes Magazine published an article recently on the subject of holiday job-hunting.
In the Forbes article, Richard Eisenberg states that Job-Hunt.org found that the total number of jobs filled in December 2014 was greater than the number filled in January 2015. The author also goes on to say that January is the busiest, most competitive month for job-seekers, many of whom conclude after the Christmas break that their present position isn’t quite what they had hoped.
You can get a jump on your competition by taking action now, rather than waiting until 2018. The decision-makers are formulating their 2018 plans now. Perhaps one of those business leaders is looking for someone like you, forward-thinking and assertive. After all, talent-acquisition is top-of-mind at every organization worth working for. So let’s look at 10 practical tips for making that great career move happen for you.
- Update your LinkedIn profile, and write it for the position you are seeking, rather than the position you have.
- Consider having a professional photo taken for your profile. Dress accordingly!
- Review your Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat accounts – all of your social media – with an objective eye as to whether the content there would suit your future employer. Revise, with a cold, hard eye as to what a complete stranger might think of your posts and pics.
- Do some research on the 10 companies you want to work for. Read their annual reports if the companies are public. Read their news releases. Find out whatever you can about the direction and plans they have. Remember, it’s all about them.
- Determine how your abilities and interests would fit in with these companies and revise your resume to suit the position and the company you want to work for. Yes, this may mean preparing 10 resumes, although the majority of the content from one to the next should be consistent.
- Find out who the decision-makers are in those 10 companies and write them a personal letter that says (in one page): here is what I have learned about your company, here is why I want to work for your company, and here is how my skill set will play a part in helping the company reach its goals.
- Before you send anything to anyone, have someone whose business acumen you trust review what you have written. Even the best of us need an editor to spot those typos and lapses of grammar we are all prone to make from time to time.
- Reconnect with friends or LinkedIn contacts you haven’t heard from in some time. Don’t forget to ask them what they are up to – curiosity and kindness towards others can often open unexpected doors.
- Make plans to attend professional events or seminars over the holidays. Look your best while there and make the most of those events to network.
- Connect with new search firms over the holidays – they are always looking for top candidates, and many of their positions are not advertised at the request of their clients.