A lot of people put their job search on hold during major holiday periods like Christmas and the summer holidays with the rationale that most companies are not hiring during this period and people are preoccupied by holidays and family.
Whilst this seems to make sense, the reality is taking a break from active job search over this time often not only extends the job search period during the time you are not applying for positions but also significantly halts the momentum you have already built from your current job search activities.
Rather than put a hiatus on your career activities over the holiday season this year, a better approach may be to change up your job search focus during this time. In fact, this period can be an ideal opportunity to gain a competitive advantage as other job seekers opt out of job market activities.
Consider the following tips for maximising your job search during the holidays
- Reconnect with your network. Christmas and major holidays are a great excuse to get back in contact with your network. Take this time to catch up in person with others with no more of an agenda than sharing a coffee or drink and wishing each other a happy new year. This can be great time to reflect on the year that was and to look forward to the year to come. Don’t forget the many festive end of year networking events can be a great use of time at this time of year. Investing in your relationships is one of the best activities you can do for career development.
- Work on Your Career Marketing Materials. With less activity in advertised positions now is a great time to really take a good hard look at your career marketing. Is your resume as strong as it could be? Are you getting a positive response to your applications? How can you lift your LinkedIn profile, resume quality, application letter impact, online presence? Take the time now to increase your competitiveness so that when the market heats up you are truly ready.
- Increase Your ‘Proactive’ Job Search Activities. Just because advertised job vacancies decrease doesn’t mean companies don’t have positions they need to fill. More likely it means they are simply holding these until after the holiday period. Now is your chance to get a jump on others for these positions. Implement a strategic campaign targeting companies you have identified you potentially offer value to and with who you would like to work. It’s likely if you can reach the decision maker now you may possibly be able to get in the door before they go to market.
- Implement an email/LinkedIn campaign with key targets such as recruiters and business contacts, wishing them a happy holiday season to ensure you remain current and top of mind. Make sure to suggest a coffee in the new year so that you hit the ground running.
The holiday season is a great time to fuel your job search momentum during a period when many others are stepping out of the market temporarily. Just don’t forget to still build in important relaxation and family time too!