Many people assume that the job market slows around the holidays and end of year, but that’s not true. It’s actually a good time to step up your networking and job seeking, so that you position yourself to be the candidate companies turn to when they’re ready to hire.
Think of it like this: Many companies are trying to fill their open requisitions so new employees can start fresh in the new year. Sometimes they need to use up their hiring budget before January. Plus, people tend to be lax on everything during the holidays. People are taking time off to hang out with friends and family. Fewer job seekers are working hard to network, so this gives you the leg up if you dedicate yourself to rubbing elbows with hiring managers. There are plenty of networking events and holiday parties going on, which give you the chance to connect with people from companies where you want to work.
Business is slower for companies, so you’re more likely to get through to the decision maker by phone. You can get more insight about what the company is really looking for in a job candidate (sometimes what the job description doesn’t mention), and you can forge a connection by putting a voice with a name that you only knew via email.
January hiring usually increases a bit, so even if a company isn’t hiring in November or December, you’ll be on your toes by staying up to date on the latest jobs all holiday season long. Your resume will be updated and you’ll know who’s hiring if you continue full-force through the holiday season.
What You Should Be Doing
Make the most of the holidays for networking opportunities. End of the year networking opportunities are abound – from neighborhood get togethers and year-end events for your kids’s school to company holiday parties and holiday networking events. You never know where you might meet your next job connection.
Talking about the holidays is a great way to put people at ease this time of year, whether you’re in a job interview or attending a professional function. Work to build relationships with people, not by announcing your availability and need for a job, but taking an opportunity to get to know them and show a genuine interest in building a relationship. Then follow-up by email or phone occasionally, and when they’re ready to hire, you’ll be top of mind.
You could also send holiday cards to anyone you’ve submitted a resume to or interviewed with recently. Include your business card and a personal note reminding them how you met. Don’t mention anything about the job; stick to holiday wishes.