Job Searching During the Holidays – Don’t Be a Scrooge!
Around this time of year, job seekers start wondering if it really makes sense to continue searching during the holidays. The answer is, yes! Here are a few tips for being a savvy job seeker this holiday season:
People do hire during the holidays. Don’t believe those who say no one hires during the month of December. Yes, it is true that things slow down or get put on hold, but there is still plenty of hiring going on before, during and right after the holidays. In fact, hiring managers are scrambling because some companies need to fill positions before the New Year or want someone to start soon after January 1. Candidates are still being interviewed and offers are made, no matter what people say.
There’s less competition. Since many job seekers do stop looking for work around the holidays, there will be less competition to deal with for the job openings you’re looking at. Hiring managers report that job applications slow down to a small trickle during the holidays and some state that because of this concept that no one is hiring, they actually have trouble finding suitable candidates for positions that need to be filled quickly.
You will need to be flexible. Since a lot of people (including hiring managers) take their vacation around this time of year, there will be limited spots available for interviews. You should try to be as flexible as possible when companies are trying to make a hire before the New Year and need to move quickly to fill those slots and work around everyone’s schedule. If you’re willing to juggle your schedule, you’ll have a leg up on the competition. Unfortunately, that might mean being flexible about your own holiday plans.
You will need some patience. During this time of year, the hiring process can move slowly, especially if the key decision makers are out of town. Employers might take longer to get back to you, or you might have to wait for someone to return from vacation before and hiring decisions can be made. You should always follow up after an interview, but don’t be discouraged if it takes a lot longer than you thought for them to respond to you.
There will be rejection. Along with the mistletoe, there might be a little rejection involved. And, it might come right around Christmas, right before the hiring manager leaves on his vacation. Don’t let this interfere with you holiday plans. Remember, rejections are a normal part of the job search and if you’re like the rest of us, you’ve racked up a few already.
You might not start a new job until after the New Year. While there are plenty of people hiring, many of these positions do not start until after January 1. The reason behind this is a lot of staff members will be away and if you have no one to train you as a new hire, then what’s the point of hiring you? So, look at it this way, find a job in December and don’t worry about it until January!
People will ask you about your job search at holiday parties. This is going to happen if they know you’re searching for a job, so be prepared and make the most of it. If you’re searching in December, you have the opportunity of telling people you meet that you’re still in the game. You never know who might have a useful lead for you. Should you need a break from all the interrogation, deflect those questions and turn the conversation into a more interesting holiday topic – like eating!