The holidays can be an especially stressful time for job seekers. Most people believe that once the Thanksgiving holiday passes, nothing related to hiring will happen again until January.
But contrary to popular belief, the holiday season can be a great time to look for work. Here’s why your career search shouldn’t break for the holidays and how you can make the most of the season.
Business doesn’t stop during the holidays – nor does the need to fill an open position.
Employers don’t care what time of year it is because there’s a need to be filled.
January is the strongest hiring month.
That means job postings, networking, interviews, offers and negotiations are happening in December.
Most organizations operate at a slower pace during the holiday season.
With employees taking time off, projects and initiatives are often put on hold – which can mean busy professionals have more time to meet.
‘Tis the season to be jolly.
The holiday spirit tends to make people more giving of their time during the season (grinches excluded).
There’s less competition.
Many job seekers drop out of the job search until January. In fact, job applications typically decrease up to 75 percent during the holiday season.
NEW YEAR, NEW YOU: TIPS FOR A HOLLY, JOLLY JOB SEARCH
Evaluate your job search.
Determine what worked and what didn’t and adjust your strategy accordingly. Re-craft your personal brand to better align with your career objectives.
Spruce things up.
Update your LinkedIn profile by adding a personal branding statement or highlighting new skills and expertise. Don’t forget to update your resume and cover letter, too.
The holidays are a great time to reconnect with people. Send holiday greetings, thank them for their advice and update them on your career search.
Broaden your network.
Use LinkedIn to connect with alums from your alma mater, and check to see if your alumni group is hosting a social, sports viewing party or holiday event while you’re in town.
Home for the holidays? Brush up on your interview skills.
Your housebound relatives are a built-in audience for polishing your interview skills. Practice going over your resume and communicating the value you’ll add to a company on day one.
Insights by Elizabeth Wallencheck, director of alumni career management, and Kris Hergert (MBA ’09), associate director of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.