Believe it or not, December is one of the best months to find a job. Sure the store discounts, holiday festivities, and winter vacations offer plenty to keep you busy this season, but December presents the perfect opportunity to hunt for your next gig. Here’s why.
“The job market notoriously slows down during the holidays because lots of people are planning family vacations and trips home and are not looking to make a move until after the New Year,” says Bree Silveira, sales recruiter at Glassdoor. “By staying active during this time, you are staying ahead of the competition. December is the time to take advantage of and get in front of hiring in January when companies get their new hiring budgets.”
In addition to capitalizing on the decreased competition and new hiring budgets, job seekers should use the holidays to network. Mix and mingle at various holiday parties with your business cards and with a keen focus on connecting with mentors or friends who work at companies you’re interested in.
“It’s also a perfect time to reconnect with colleagues – who may be able to help you land your next gig,” says career expert Angela Copeland. “Be sure to attend any holiday parties you’re invited to, and don’t forget to follow up with new contacts afterward.”
Set up holiday cocktails or catch up with colleagues not only to celebrate but also to get insight into any open roles, hiring freezes or planned expansion. Just be careful to keep social engagements social! Don’t try to slip your resume to someone under the mistletoe. If you meet someone you think would be willing to refer you to a role or has an opening on their team, make a note to follow up with them later.
“There is never a bad time to connect and engage with your network,” says Silveira. “Like most things in life, it’s all about timing.”
With 31 days to make inroads with applications and networking, don’t forget to consider the seasonal roles or temp jobs that are still looking for top talent. From the U.S. Forest Service to Amazon and Delta Air Lines are all hiring seasonal talent now, with many roles having the option to be considered for full-time positions.
One hurdle you will face when applying for jobs this month is the dreaded “out of office reply” message. Don’t fret. “The number one tip is — be persistent, says Copeland. “Don’t assume that just because you applied, someone saw your resume.”
We asked Silveira to give us tips on how to get out in front of recruiters even during the holiday:
- Don’t solely rely on email. Apply officially. “First things first, always apply for the position online via the job post. It’s important that your interest and information is captured in the company’s database and that it is aligned with the correct position.”
- Applicant tracking systems can be helpful. “Many times, your candidacy is tracked from application to hire in the database. The bonus is that your resume is now searchable to the internal recruiters for future openings as well.”
- Do some digging. “Research the position and the possible key stakeholders online. Do your best to connect via your network so that you can express interest directly. Be sure to mention the position you are interested in.”
If things are too busy this December, Copeland says laying the groundwork for a fruitful job hunting January is key. “Take the time to update your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn during December,” she advises.
Don’t forget: “The door will never open unless you knock. Don’t miss out on opportunities just because it’s December.”
Happy job hunting!