Holiday Job Search - Why it's a great time to be looking

Now that the holidays are here, many job-seekers take a step back from their hunt, thinking hiring takes a back-seat during the holidays. I’ve heard from clients and students over the years that, “No one’s doing anything between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, so I’m going to take the time off and get revved up in January.”  

Wrong. Not only wrong, but also frequently just another excuse to avoid the search.  

Here are some compelling reasons for doing the exact opposite of sitting out the season:

1) Your competition is disappearing 

Because other people believe this myth of inactivity during the holiday season, you’re competing against a smaller group of candidates. So the odds your phone call, email, or social network outreach get attention are that much greater.

2) There's no time like the holidays to build relationships 

In general, people are less focused on their own work. More time on their hands means chatting with someone else about their career or meeting a new face might be a welcome distraction. It’s called “networking.”  

In addition, you can find creative ways to reconnect with people. Use a holiday card to remind old friends and business acquaintances about you. Then follow-up later on when that seed has been planted. But . . . don't use those cards to discuss your career or job search. Tacky. Not as bad as those impersonal broadcast communications some people send out--filled with vivid, detailed descriptions of everything they've done in the past year--but still not a particularly good search technique.  

3) Party . . . with care 

Accept the holiday party invitations. But remember, parties and other social events (professional associations and the like) are not the time to corner people, give them a long pitch, and try to get information and possible leads. Your sole purpose at any social function, where the attendees are definitely not there to be hit on by job seekers, is to build a bit of a social acquaintance, and collect business cards--for future meetings.

4) January is usually NOT a good statistical hiring month 

And usually not a time when many feel like building new relationships. Think about it: when you get back from the holidays, do you feel like doing much of anything at all? This is another reason why there should be strong emphasis on a December all-out self-marketing. January shouldn’t be the start; it should be a continuation of what was built in December.  

Good luck!