You may have heard that looking for a job over the holidays is a waste of time, or that employers are just kicking back at this time of year and letting the resumes pile up. This just simply isn't true, according to U.S. News and World Report, and if you spend your holiday time wisely, you could be rewarded with the greatest holiday gift of all - a job.
According to the news source, many employment agencies are extremely active right now, looking for candidates who can fill positions at companies that are planning to hire in the new year. Add this to the lower competition you'll naturally see in the wintertime, and your chances of getting a job suddenly jump higher.
Here are a few tips to help you navigate the holiday job hunt.
First, take advantage of the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. Whether it's co-workers, previous managers, friends or other contacts, holiday cards, calls and gatherings are a great chance to re-establish a rapport and grow your network even more. Holiday parties are an especially great place to rekindle old connections, and you should attend as many as you can. Besides getting to wear that sweater with reindeer on it multiple times, you'll also get the chance to meet new people and let previous acquaintances know you're in the market for a job. Just remember to balance networking with honest catch-up, meaning that your job search should not be the first topic of conversation.
While it is certainly a good idea to continue your job search throughout the holiday season, keep in mind that it will take a bit more flexibility on your part. Companies rushing to fill spots for the new year are typically extremely busy, and can only schedule so many interview times because of vacation and holiday schedules. If you can manage to shift your schedule around to meet the needs of a potential employer, you'll likely make yourself much more available for phone or in-person interviews.
According to the news source, this also means you should be patient when it comes to following up with a call or interview. Hiring managers usually take longer to respond at this time of year, but that doesn't mean you're out of the running, it just means they, too, are busy with the holiday rush.
According to Monster.com, the fourth quarter is typically the most unique period for hiring anytime during the year, and what's thought of as a lull in bringing on new workers between Thanksgiving and New Years can be offset by businesses' need for end-of-year budgeting and financial demands.
And if the next two months follow recent hiring trends, job seekers may be in luck. In November's employment snapshot, provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data showed the U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs last month, which helped the unemployment rate drop from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent. This alone is a great bit of holiday good news for anyone looking for a job.