This year has been a doozy, and as the holidays come closer many are looking forward to slowing down a bit. And we should – take a breather, take a respite from screen time, and enjoy some time not having to meet deadlines.
For those who are job searching, though, you may be wondering whether to push forward with the search right now, or step away for a few weeks. Even during the holiday season, employers don’t stop hiring. They still have roles to fill and work that needs to be done, and don’t want to delay getting a new employee hired. With that in mind, job searching should not be put totally on hold right now. However, there is a way to balance taking a bit of a break, while also being productive towards your search.
Here are five things to focus on now so that you can feel productive, while also not over-tasking yourself.
- Update your resume with recent accomplishments and/or job changes. If you need to reorganize your resume, now is a great time to do so; play around with different formats. A refresh does wonders for feeling better about job searching. Also, take some time to update your LinkedIn profile and explore all functions of the site. From networking to job searching and interview prep – LinkedIn provides a plethora of resources!
- Get your references in order and ask their permission to list them on job applications. It’s both considerate and professional to ask someone to be a reference. You may consider also sending them an updated resume and scheduling a brief time to chat to update them on what you’ve been up to lately.
- Keep in touch with your network by sending holiday cards/email greetings to check in and update them on what you have been doing. A quick and friendly message will keep you fresh in their minds.
- Take job description notes on your target jobs. It’s not as boring as it sounds and gives you great insight on which skills to focus your applications on. Thoroughly read through descriptions for either target jobs, or those similar to ones you’re looking for. Pay attention to the requirements and responsibilities sections, as they are chock-full of useful information. Are you noticing patterns/repeats in terms of skills being asked for? Those are good for you to focus your materials on. Are their hard skills you keep noticing, such as Photoshop? Make note of these, and – if needed – take the time to learn them or do a refresh.
- Take a few hours to brush up on skills and knowledge you need for your target jobs. Are your target jobs asking for skills you don’t have yet, or need a refresher on, such as Excel or Photoshop? There are many free or discounted sites to do some upskilling.
Bonus Tip! As you’re preparing for interviews (now or in the future), take time to prepare for questions that focus on your ability to successfully perform remote work. Even if the job in question is not a permanent remote work role, it will more than likely begin that way until organizations open more fully.
Above all this holiday season, remember this time is just that – a moment in time. Schedule time to work on the job search, but also time away from it all. At the end of the day, you need to be able to show up fully for your life, be engaged, and be present – we cannot do that if we feel out of balance, so take some time for yourself and focus on your priorities.