Job seekers often believe that hiring doesn’t take place over the holidays. As a result, they stop pursuing job leads with the intentions of restarting their job search after the New Year. But, stopping your job search over the holidays means stopping your pipeline and it will take more time to restart it later.
The truth is that companies still have personnel needs and continue their recruitment processes throughout November and December. Many companies also get new budgets in January to fill new positions or unfreeze previously unfilled positions. Furthermore, there may actually be less competition for available positions as many job seekers will temporarily drop out of the job market due to busy personal schedules or holiday activities.
While the recruitment process may take longer due to staff holiday vacations, just as many positions will get filled during the holiday season as any other time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Department of Labor, employment in professional and business/technical services increased by 37,000 jobs in October 2014 compared to an increase of 86,000 in November and an increase of 52,000 in December of the same year. Offers that are made in January are usually the result of interviews that were conducted in November and December.
Because hiring doesn’t take a holiday, follow these three steps to make the most of your job search:
- Network at Holiday Events
Your colleagues, friends, and family provide great networking resources during holiday events. At the staff luncheon, sit beside someone you want to know better instead of co-workers you already know. If you are participating in a community or business event, be knowledgeable of data regarding your latest projects. Attending a friend’s cocktail party can also be a great way to make new contacts. Be prepared to distribute personal business cards that contain your contact information, LinkedIn profile URL, and qualifications. By connecting with someone new at each event, your network will quickly expand.
- Reconnect with Past Contacts
When making new contacts, don’t forget about your past colleagues. Use the holiday season to renew connections with former co-workers, supervisors, and alumni from your alma mater. If you have lost touch with a few connections, LinkedIn can help you find out where they are now. Of course, you need to make sure your own LinkedIn profile is up to date as well. You can also email out holiday greetings or mail traditional greeting cards with appropriate updates about what is new with you.
- Take Time for Reflection
Take time to relax and reflect when the holiday season becomes stressful. To rejuvenate your spirits, have coffee with an old friend, visit family, or participate in a volunteer activity. Rethink what you want your personal brand to be, and don’t wait until the New Year to get started with finding a new job. The Office of Alumni and Career Services can help. The Office of Alumni and Career Services at the University of Richmond offers Career Services for life for all alumni. Contact (804) 289-8547 for more information.
Tonya Osmond provides career consultations for Alumni and SPCS at the University of Richmond.