— October 25, 2018
Believe it or not, the holiday season is actually an ideal time to make progress on your job search. Many jobseekers don’t realize this, and as such they effectively go dormant between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Their loss is your gain: With a less crowded field, you can use the holiday season to really make some inroads with potential employers.
The Gatekeepers are Away
Here’s the first thing you should know about job seeking during the holidays: For many businesses, it’s actually a little bit of a lull. (Big exceptions include retail and hospitality—but those are discussions for another day.)
Indeed, for a lot of companies, the last few weeks of the year are a time when things slow down, people are out of the office, and many employees are simply getting their ducks in a row for the start of a new year. Most teams don’t launch big new projects in the dog days of December, so there’s more flexibility than you might think for you to schedule an interview or an informational meeting.
And here’s the exciting thing: With administrative assistants and other gatekeepers taking time off, you have a really good shot at making direct contact with a middle manager. In other words, your best time to engage with a potential employer may be at the height of the holidays. Take advantage of this unique window of opportunity!
Socialization is Key
While you’re making those connections, also be sure you’re showing up to holiday parties and gatherings. You don’t have to approach these get-togethers as networking opportunities; just show up to have some fun.
With that said, it’s bound to come up that you’re looking for work—and often, you’ll score some meaningful introductions without necessarily trying very hard. Again, this is a unique window, so make sure you make good use of any festive fellowship opportunities that come your way.
Get Busy and Get to Work
One more thing: The holiday season is as good a time as any to spruce up some of your personal marketing collateral. Why not reach out to a local photographer and have some professional headshots taken, then upload them to your LinkedIn profile? As the holiday card season dies down, you should have no trouble at all getting an appointment.
You can use the holidays as an excuse to send quick check-ins to your social media connections—perhaps triggering a conversation about the kinds of jobs you’re seeking.
And, you can use the holidays as a chance to fine-tune your resume—or get a new one written from scratch, ensuring you’re ready to start the new year on a strong note.
The holidays will be here before you know it—and if you’re targeting a new job, the time to strategize is now.