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Tips for Job Hunting During the Holiday Season

Don’t buy into the myth that nobody is hiring during the holidays. You CAN find a new job during the holiday season, even in the current competitive job market. And we’re not just talking about seasonal retail work.
Tips for Job Hunting During the Holiday Season

In fact, the holiday season may be a real opportunity for the savvy job seeker. Many of your competitors will sit back and wait for January, content to slack off on job-hunting duties because they’ve heard that recruiters and hiring managers are also taking the holidays off.

However, a substantial number of companies have jobs to fill in December. If there’s an open headcount, there’s no reason to slow down recruiting efforts in December.

In fact, hiring managers are often under the gun to make an offer before late December, worried that there could be a budget or hiring freeze in January.

Companies are also more likely to make an offer to a solid candidate when there is time pressure. Instead of waiting around for someone better to come along (common when there are so many good candidates for every position), hiring managers want to make an offer while they still can – or risk being shorthanded in the new year.

Holiday Hiring Can Be Slower…Be Patient

It’s true that the hiring decision making process can slow down during the holiday season (much as it does during the summer months). More people take vacations during the holidays and this makes it harder to schedule interviews and the follow-up discussions needed to finalize hiring decisions.

Be patient waiting for that call back for your third-round interview or news of a final decision — especially when you’re dealing with a large company.  While you worry that you screwed up the interview, they may just be waiting for Fred in HR to get back from vacation.  However, hiring managers will work harder to push the decision through the bureaucracy if they know they have to fill in the position by year-end or risk losing the headcount.

It’s worth the effort to ramp up your job search efforts in early December. Let other candidates make excuses and focus on holiday parties and shopping, waiting for better opportunities in 2012. This means you will have a better shot at those December 2011 openings.

Follow the Lead of My Client Who Is Currently Choosing Between Three Job Offers

And yes, it’s still a tough job market, but companies really are hiring. For example, one of my interview coaching clients is currently considering three attractive job offers after months of feeling stuck and not hearing back from recruiters and HR contacts.

How did she turn her job search around? She worked with me on improving her job interview skills and she stuck with the job search process — even when it was frustrating and discouraging.

Your December Job Search Strategy

Use this post-Thanksgiving weekend to craft a job search strategy for December.

  • Who can you reach out to? What networking events can you attend?
  • What opportunities can you follow up on?
  • Have you lost touch with any promising leads?

Check in with your contacts to share early holiday wishes and let them know you are still looking for your next opportunity.

You can also use this time to make sure you’re ready for those holiday job interview opportunities. Work on your interviewing skills, make sure you are prepared to speak compellingly about your accomplishments, fine-tune your resume. Above all, stay focused.

You may find yourself celebrating a brand new job by New Year’s Eve. What could be a better holiday gift? Skip the doorbuster sales and cookie binges and stick with your holiday job search.

Share Your Successes to Inspire Others

If you land a job interview or sweet job offer during this holiday season, please let us know what worked for you! Your success can inspire others. We will be sharing job search success stories on the blog (and you can stay completely anonymous if you like).

Pamela Skillings
Pamela is the co-founder of BigInterview and an expert interview coach on a mission to help job seekers get their dream jobs. As an HR authority, she also provides consulting services to companies wishing to streamline their hiring process.

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