seekers don’t realize how important it is to keep their search fully active
during these holiday months. There is little to no competition. Companies are
completing their budget planning for the next fiscal year, so it’s a great time
to get in front of hiring managers. And, many executives have to fill openings
early in the year or they may lose the budget for that position,” says Myers.
Here are four tips that will help you use this time of year to your
advantage and get your name out there.
The holidays are all about getting together with family and friends, and
while you don’t want to turn every social interaction into a networking
opportunity, it’s still a great time to keep an eye out for any potential
leads. Myers says there are plenty of networking opportunities this time of
year in the form of charity fundraisers or holiday gatherings. “Most
professional associations have a party for their December meetings, with a
lighter spirit than the more formal meetings offered throughout the rest of the
year” he says.
actually bringing a resume along with you, which might come off as too pushy at
something like a holiday party. “Rather, create a simple, tasteful business
card with your name, phone number and email address to give to people,” says
card will not only help make you look more professional, but it gives you an
easy, low-pressure way to share your contact information during any networking
scenario. You don’t want to scare the person off by furnishing a full resume,
cover letter and professional recommendations—instead, give them your
information and follow up later.
typically come with an uptick in charity work and more opportunities to help
families in need or to volunteer at a food pantry with holiday meals. First and
foremost, volunteer work should always be about helping others, but that
doesn’t mean you can’t make some great connections while you’re at it.
You can also
combine your volunteer work with industry work, “Volunteering can work well if
you can leverage the networking opportunities while doing the actual volunteer
work within the industry that you are searching for a job in. Volunteering for
something like Hour of Code during Computer
Science Education week in
December would be a good move,” says Richardson.
that, in addition to potentially making new professional connections,
volunteering is also a way to boost confidence. If you’ve been trying to get a
new job for a while helping others is a great way to “feel good when you need a
boost, to have a renewed sense of purpose during your search and to meet other
Pick up the phone
during this time of year, offices are quiet as employee’s cash in on their
vacation time to get a few more days off around the holidays. But for offices
that don’t completely shut down, it means there are still some employees left
working during what is considered a slow time for most businesses. Myers says
that this combination is what makes it a great time to connect with people and
reach out about prospective jobs.
Myers gives an
example of one colleague who was starting a new business and needed to get the
word out, so the day after Thanksgiving, she got on the phone to make follow-up
and sales calls. “She found that whoever was at work that day was not only
available for a conversation, but was grateful to speak to someone,” he says.
It’s also a
great time of year to connect with recruiters, either by phone or email, says
Richardson. They’re finishing up year-long projects and starting to wind down
before the new fiscal year, so they’re ultimately less busy, which he says
makes them “easier to reach.” Staying on top of your connections this time of
year might mean they’re more responsive, with more time to chat.
Send holiday cards
If you’ve ever
received a holiday card from your pet’s veterinarian or a birthday card from
your dentist, you might already be familiar with this idea. Myers says that the
holidays are a great time to send out cards to “everyone on your list.” That
includes human resource executives, hiring managers you’ve worked with over the
last year and recruitment or search firms that you have worked with.
says you shouldn’t mention the job search in your card, but instead use it to
make sure you stay on that person’s mind. He also recommends choosing
nondenominational cards since you may not know everyone’s religious
affiliations, and to also include your return address just in case they decide
to respond to your card.
can also be another great way to “follow up” with contacts, especially since
they might be distracted by the upcoming festivities. Job searching is about
expressing your interest and marketing yourself to recruiters and hiring
managers. The holidays offer a number of unique ways that will help you stand
out from the candidates they typically get year round.
”Follow up and
diligence is required because of the distractions during this time of year.
This will also show the employer how interested you are in the position and
working for their firm,” says Richardson.