November 29, 2011 – Job-hunting during the holiday season is a great way to gain a competitive advantage over those taking a break and putting their searches on hold until next year, according to OI Partners, a global coaching and leadership development and consulting firm.
The holiday season is a prime time to search for and network your way to a job or new career. Employers continue to interview and hire during the holidays. Among the benefits of persevering with your search are: less competition, newly budgeted positions that need to be filled, holiday parties and events that can be used as networking opportunities, and people in an overall more relaxed and celebratory mood.
“Rather than slowing down, the holidays are a great time to step up your job search. December and January are among the busiest months for hiring, and a number of these new hires were interviewed during the holidays,” said Steve Ford, chair of OI Partners.
Following are some of the benefits of continuing your job search during the holidays and ways to take maximum advantage:
- Less competition: “There is generally less competition for roughly the same number of jobs. So, a higher percentage of job-seekers may find positions with fewer people actively looking,” said Ford.
- Better access to decision-makers: It may be easier to connect with decision-makers during the holidays. They may have less hectic schedules and even answer their own phones due to vacationing secretaries and receptionists.
- Newly created openings: “Jobs posted during the holidays may be urgent and need to be filled quickly. There also may be positions that have just been budgeted for the upcoming calendar year and have not been extensively posted or advertised yet,” said Ford.
- Jump-start the new year: Managers with fresh goals for the new year want talented people on board in early January to help them achieve their objectives and targets.
- Holiday parties & events: Holiday parties and events at schools, community, religious, and other groups present opportunities to network. “You can mention that you are exploring career options and would like to get their advice. But don’t pull out you resume at a holiday party. Instead, try to arrange a follow-up meeting or conversation, and reference what you discussed at the event,” said Ford.
- Holiday greeting cards: Send personalized holiday greeting cards to potential employers you have recently interviewed with and networking contacts. Fill them in on any change in your status.
- Social networking groups: Use the holidays to participate in conversations or in discussion groups on LinkedIn as well as expand your online network. Offer to give recommendations and ask your connections if they need an introduction to any of your contacts.
- Reconnect: The holidays are a good time to reconnect with former co-workers, bosses, and friends in personal meetings or via personal cards and notes with an updated resume.