For many job seekers, the holidays seem like the perfect time to take a break, relax, and then restart the hunt in the new year. Yet the popular “take a break” holiday mentality is precisely why you should double your efforts. Not only will competition be slimmer, but there are unique advantages to searching during the holiday season.
1. Network over eggnog.
Holiday parties are a great opportunity to network and make connections with people you may not otherwise meet. Attend every holiday party you’re invited to, or ask to join a friend at theirs.
While at a holiday party, introduce yourself to new people: find out what they do, ask insightful questions, and exchange information. Once the party is over, send follow-up notes to the people you met, and you can inquire about potential professional opportunities.
2. Apply while others are taking a break.
While many job seekers take a break during the holidays, hiring managers usually don’t. Take advantage of a slower application period to send your resume and cover letters in. Not only is your application more likely to get noticed, but applying during the holiday season demonstrates commitment and passion for finding a great new career.
3. Reconnect festively.
Holidays offer the perfect excuse to reach out: send personal holiday cards to at least ten people in your network, and ask about their personal and professional lives. Reconnect with old friends while home for the holiday, and ask about what they do. There could be great opportunities untapped in your network, and the holiday season offers a good reason to reach out
4. Gatekeepers are away.
The holiday season is the perfect time to gain access to managers and executives at companies, particularly if you’ve struggled to grab their attention or an interview in the past.
During the holidays, however, many of the usual gatekeepers at companies such as receptionists and assistants are on holiday, creating a window of opportunity to reach executives. Email your resume directly to relevant hiring managers or executives during the holidays, or call and ask who you can speak with about potential job opportunities. The chances of speaking with someone higher up the food chain increase during the quieter holiday season.
5. Prove your persistence.
If you interviewed with companies before the holidays hit, don’t wait to follow up. Keep in touch with organizations where you interviewed, and remind them of your interest. Inboxes will probably be lighter during the holidays, making your follow-up note more noticeable. As long as it’s done respectfully, this dedicated attitude will stand out even more to hiring managers over the holidays.
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