The countdown to Thanksgiving officially marks the start of the holiday season and many job seekers assume that hiring screeches to a halt during this period. While hiring may slow down and employers may take longer to get back in touch with you, the holiday season offers many advantages that other times of the year do not. Here are five holiday job search tips you should keep in mind this season:
- Remain Patient – Decision makers are more likely to be on vacation at this time of the year so prepare to be patient at each stage of the hiring process. Make sure to follow up with employers and write thank you notes like you normally would, but don’t panic if you don’t get a response in a timely manner.
- Seek Seasonal Hiring – If you are looking for short term employment to earn wages while job searching, the holiday season can bring a wealth of opportunities. Think of industries or companies that would see a boost during this period like retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, hotels, or special event staff, and submit an application. Charities and organizations usually have many opportunities for volunteers as well, which could help fill an empty space on your resume.
- Flexibility Helps - Some employers may ask you to be available for a phone interview or in person interview during the holidays when you would otherwise be traveling or with family. Be sure to communicate your priorities to your loved ones and make yourself available for these opportunities. Not everyone can commit to this so you’ll likely have less competition as a result. Should all go well and you get a formal offer for a position, be prepared to wait for a start date that may not be until after the New Year.
- Network at Holiday Events – Whether you’re currently employed and searching for a new job or unemployed, holiday social gatherings can be very rewarding for networking opportunities. Mention your job search aspirations and prepare your pitch ahead of time in case an opportunity presents itself in conversation. The more people that know you’re looking, the better your chances of uncovering more prospects.
- Plan for the New Year – If all else fails, the holiday season usually offers up some free time you can carve out for updating your resume, browsing open jobs online, or signing up for career workshops and job fairs. Remember that you’ll likely have less competition over the holiday season so you can really take advantage of the options available to you.
The first step when approaching your job search this holiday season is to ignore the myth that employers won’t hire during this time of the year. Understanding that you may need to be patient or flexible in your approach while utilizing alternative strategies will ultimate help give you an edge over your job seeking competitors. We wish you the best of luck in your search this season!