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How to get hired during the holidays

Land your dream job this holiday season with these seven tips


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It’s a common warning for job-seekers that no one hires during the holiday season. And there’s all kinds of reasons why. Some people feel that everyone is too busy, so it isn’t even worth trying to find a job. Others feel that no one is in the office during these times, so why bother. And, of course, there’s the “Companies are dealing with end of year taxes or marketing and business plans for the upcoming year, so the last thing they are doing is hiring.”

But what if the opposite was true? What if the holiday season brought great opportunities for executives to land great jobs? 

That’s right  ̶  you can and should continue your job search during the holidays and here’s why. Between business-critical positions needing to be filled and the urgency of using up the company budget before the end of the fiscal year, there are plenty of reasons companies are hiring new staff at this festive time. The key is to know how to use it to your advantage.

So, let’s break down some great ideas to land your dream job during the holidays:

Networking – Attend and work the room at holiday events

Holiday season means events. And while advancing your career may not be the main point of these, they do present the perfect opportunity to get a little networking in. Plus, holiday parties typically aren’t forced social situations, which is what can make more professional networking events so uncomfortable. But to be successful networking you need to keep these in mind:

  • Focus on who you can help, more than what you can get out of the event. When you come from a place of service, networking is more authentic.  There is nothing more irritating than someone at an event who immediately starts pitching themselves upon meeting someone. Go with the intention of being helpful to someone else and you’ll be positively remembered.
  • Take advantage of holiday small talk and let the career conversation come up naturally. The holidays present us with a ton of conversation starters. Eventually the conversation will lead to everyone’s favorite small talk question, “So, what do you do?” This is when you can bring up career goals or the fact that you are looking for a job.

Set up your own events

Why not orchestrate your own event?  It doesn’t need to be anything huge, but more a gathering of a few.  Perhaps college buddies or others you interact with regularly throughout the course of your day. If an association you belong to isn’t having one, perhaps suggest an informal lunch or something similar. You never know, this could turn into a regular event that could present opportunities year-round. Again, don’t go into this looking for a job, just remain open to hearing what opportunities abound.  Additionally, volunteering is a great way to meet people and find new opportunities.  

Consider working with third party recruiters

Third party recruiters can be your best ally during the holidays. This is primarily because they need to fill up remaining positions for their clients by Dec. 31 to get their commissions, which makes them extra-motivated to get a job quickly.

Most state that the problem they run into isn’t that there aren’t any job openings - it’s that the applicant pool dwindles during the holidays. But research suggests that it’s business as usual during the holiday season. Therefore, by reaching out to third party recruiters, and letting them know you are available, you not only make their lives easier, you also have less competition to deal with as a candidate. It’s a win-win.

Don’t be afraid to schedule an interview the last week of December

As we have said, there is less competition the last week in December, because most job seekers would wait until the New Year. However, by not waiting, the job pool will consist of fewer applicants.

Plus, the holidays bring the unique opportunity for more casual talk that can shine a light on your personality and provide inside information you might not get from the interviewer throughout the year indeed treat.

Think global

Keep in mind that every culture may not celebrate a holiday during November or December. So, if international assignments are what you are seeking, stepping up the search during this time can improve the odds of landing a global role.

Create a new company target list

Use your extra downtime this season to do more research and find companies you’d like to work at. You can utilize LinkedIn and other resources with the goal of creating a detailed list of companies you’d like to work at as well as who to reach at these companies. Then, be sure to also work out an action plan to reach out to them.

Update your photos

Although the holidays tend to be busier for getting professional photos done, the flip side is there are great specials and you can save money on new headshots.  Take advantage of these opportunities and once you have these new photos, update any online places where you photo might be posted. That allows you to go into the new year with an updated image that just might portray the professional confidence someone is looking for.

Bottom line is if you need a break or if you have family obligations that are preventing you from conducting your job search, then postpone the search until January. There will certainly be positions to apply for during the New Year. However, if you are still pumped up to do a search, then keep going.

Do not stop simply because you ‘heard’ it is slow. Capitalize on what the season offers to job seekers. Make the most of the smaller applicant pools and the increased amount of social opportunities the season provides. And remember, a professional resume-writing and job-landing service can be the perfect way to shine a light on why you are the perfect candidate. 

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Lisa Rangel

Lisa Rangel is an executive resume writer at www.chameleonresumes.com, a Forbes Top 100 Career website and recently named one of the top 28 resume writers in 2016 by Career Toolkit. She is also the LinkedIn Premium Career Group Moderator and has been featured in Inc., BBC, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes.com, Fox News, Yahoo Finance, US News, and so many more reputable media outlets. Lisa’s Get Hired Fast Package is now http://chameleonresumes.com/get-hired-fast/.

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