job searchHolidays…those weeks that drag on after Thanksgiving all the way into the New Year. It’s this time of year when job-seekers stop looking for employment. And we’re here to say don’t let the holidays slow down your job search one bit!

It turns out that one of the great secrets of job-hunting is actually looking for one between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. So, while other job-seekers are making up excuses or taking a break from their job search, you should step up your efforts in your quest for a new job and gain a competitive edge on those slackers!

Here’s a six-step process on how to stay active in your job search during the holidays:

Family: Since you’re going to be around them, why not ask them to help you seek out job leads. After all, they have your best interests at heart, and if allowed, they can assist you in uncovering potential leads you didn’t know existed. Now, don’t expect them to hire you but always be honest about your current situation and what type of job you’re seeking. They just might surprise you with some great job leads.

Volunteer: There are so many organizations that need help during the holidays and even though it seems counter-productive to give up time you could spend job-hunting, the contacts you meet could lead to new and unexpected job leads. Even if your volunteering leads to nothing, you still made good use of your time. A Foot in the Door ranked volunteering among the top networking methods so make use of a great opportunity!

Parties: Make sure to attend all professional holiday events/parties and make sure to bring networking cards. While these types of events aren’t focused on work-related topics, people are in such a great mood that it makes the perfect place to grow your network.

Holiday Cards: Sending out holiday cards is a dying art and one that should be utilized (especially for job-seekers) to follow up with recruiters, hiring managers and to reconnect with former bosses, co-workers and past customers. Make sure to include a short hand-written, personalized note and remember, political correctness applies here so just send holiday cards instead of Christmas cards.

Follow-Up: Renew your follow-up efforts for jobs you have already submitted your resume and restart your efforts to land an interview. Yes, many businesses slow down during these five to six weeks but they don’t take off the entire time. Just focus on the first two weeks in December as they are the prime times to get that job interview.

Groundwork: Plan ahead now for the New Year job-search surge that always happens. Examine every part of your job-search strategy, to include your system for finding job leads, networking, marketing (this includes your resume), interview skills and your follow-up technique. The more you prepare now, the better off you will be in the New Year.