Hiring and recruiting during holiday seasons often brings up multiple opinions of its effectiveness by job seekers, recruiters, human resources managers and hiring managers from the field. As a former recruiter, my stand is unless you are mentally burned out and need a break, have volumes of family members visiting or simply have to travel often during the holidays, there is every reason to keep job searching during the holidays. Don’t stop the job search just because it is December. Here’s a few reasons why and what to do about it now in December:
1. Don’t Stop Job Searching during the Holidays—Hires Happen in December! - When I was an executive recruiter, I found our busiest or second busiest month was December. Why? I found if a job was open in December, it was because there was a 110% urgent need to fill it—or the company would wait until the New Year. No candidate shopping or long interview processes going in December—just down and dirty, get-it-done hiring being done in December.
2. Use December to prepare for January – Even if you do not want to job search in December, I strongly recommend using December to update your resume, identify your job search targets and brush up on your interviewing skills to get ahead of fellow job seekers coming out of the gate in January, as well.
3. Make new friends…Attend networking events for industries or career fields you have always wanted to explore. The social aspect of these events is heightened during this time of year, so you can learn about a new field while making new contacts. Build relationships in target areas to get positioned for the new year.
4. But keep the old….. This is a good opportunity to reach out to former co-workers, old college buddies, neighbors and previous contacts that you have not spoken to in a while.
5. Introduce your network to each other. Invite people out to drinks or host your own get-together, in essence, creating your own networking event. Connections made by your contacts will be credited to you. Helping others meet is always a great way to serve your network.
6. Expand your social media reach. Be sure you have all of your professional contacts in LinkedIn. See where you can cross Facebook contacts on to LinkedIn to make your reach wider. Explore a new social media that fits your personality and industry, such as Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram. Look at job search-rich job sites such as Glassdoor, BranchOut, Jack-a-lope Jobs or Tim’s Strategy. Commit to being more proficient on social media to advance your career in the new year.
7. Say thanks in person, on the phone and in writing. Review who has helped you personally and professionally over the past year and reach out to express your gratitude over lunch, with a note card or a Skype chat. Co-worker help you at work? Friend recommended a training course? Client make a key introduction for you? Someone help you with your job search? A personal ‘thank you’ note or phone call is very meaningful. Even if you have already showed appreciation earlier in the year, a year-end “Thanks” goes a long way.
8. Have fun with your job search: Seek out holiday parties to attend to socialize with work friends and enjoy the festivities (within reason). Belong to professional or industry associations? Attend the end of year holiday party to make new connections. Participate in the planning of the company party to meet leaders from other departments. Be yourself and let your radiance shine through to attract new friends.
9. Help someone else with your time and donations. So many volunteer services are needed during the holiday time. When you volunteer your time and resources, you can make yourself feel grateful and fulfilled, while giving you the opportunity to meet other like-minded, good hearted professionals that can lead you to your next opportunity.
10. Rest. Period. Like I mention in the beginning of this post, if you need to take a break, then just give yourself permission to take a break. If your body is looking at this list as one big list of “have to’s” and “should’s,” then it just may be time to rest and recharge for the new year coming, If none of this seems fun or festive, your body language might be screaming “I don’t want to be here.” In that case, best to curl up on the couch and watch a good movie. I can assure you, the job search will always be there and it is best that you are rested and on your game.
Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer
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