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Job Seekers: 6 Reasons to Shine

During the Holidays

By: Michelle Metzger, Human Resource Specialist

The holidays are upon us again and each year I am perplexed by the job seekers’ trend of taking a step back from the job search during this time.  I am not sure if this is a) due to upcoming holiday plans that job seekers do not want to impinge upon, b) if they believe companies do not hire during the holidays, or c) if they’ve just lost motivation.  First let me address these three guesses on my part and then give some good reasons why you should not put your job search on hold during the holiday season.

a) Yes, holiday plans are fun and it’s a great time of year to socialize; however, job seekers should keep the big picture in mind.  A new job has a much bigger impact on your life than [insert holiday evens/plans/festivities here].

b) This is a myth!  Companies do not stop hiring during the holidays.  Start dates may get delayed but companies are still interviewing and recruiting.  In fact, some companies may open up more positions during this time in anticipation of newly budgeted positions or anticipated turnover.

c) It’s harder to maintain motivation if you let yourself come to a stop.  It will be much more difficult for you to get yourself back into the swing of things.  Do not let your job search mentality and efforts lapse.

Now, let us move on to these reasons why you should persist in your job search:

1. Employers are still hiring!

As mentioned above, employers still have vacancies that need to be filled.  These vacancies do not disappear with the holiday season.  In fact, the vacancies are probably more painful during this time as current employees may have holiday trip plans which leads us to…

2. Consider Temporary or Seasonal Work

What better way to get your foot in the door with a company?  Show off your skills, initiative, and how well you fit in that company during a temporary or seasonal assignment.  This type of work arrangement also bolsters your resume if you are currently unemployed.  It shows you continued to keep your skills sharpened in between more stable work arrangements.  This will put you a notch above your competition, who has taken a break during the holidays.

3. Your competition is less fierce

There seems to be a pretty common theme of stepping back from the job search during the holidays.  If you persist, you will be able to stand out more positively.  There will be less competition in the applicant pools, and you will be more easily noticed or receive an extra look from the hiring manager or recruiter.

Take advantage of this window of opportunity because other job seekers will return in full force in January.  Get ahead of them by getting a job!

4. Recruiters are still searching for candidates

Trust me, recruiters and hiring managers are feeling the pain of the truncated applicant pool.  They are trying to connect with qualified applicants as quickly as possible.

Maybe the holiday season would be a good time to get your resume in front of recruiters even if they don’t have a position you want; however, when one does come up, they will already have your information in front of them.

5. Networking opportunities increase during the holidays

Not all job searching has to be boring and computer based.  During the holidays there are increased (and more festive) opportunities to network with potential helpful connections.  Attend special holiday networking events, open houses, fundraisers, and volunteer activities.  You may just make the connection you need.

The holidays also give you an excuse to reconnect with those already in your network.  Send them a card or see them at an event.  This could segue into a professional conversation about your present goals.

6. Maintain Your Momentum

This point is somewhat related to Newton’s first law of physics.  If you take a break from your job search now, you might stay there; you may get complacent, decide to remain in the dead-end job or settle for the lowest hanging apple.  It can be much, much harder to get back into the swing of things after taking time off.   A job seeker who remains in the active search mode will be able to maintain their level of momentum greater than someone attempting to revive their search.

In summary, there are many more reasons for you to persist in your job search during the end-of-year festivities than there are to put your efforts on hold.  As they say, “Keep your eyes on the prize.”