The holidays. Those weeks stretching from about the third week in November and spilling over into the new year. Love them or loathe them, they come around every year, and often signal the end of many job-seekers' pursuits of new jobs until the new year begins in January.
But don't let this holiday season slow your job-search one bit. While you may not have that job offer in hand before the holidays are over, you could be well on your way to landing a new job shortly into the new year.
So, while many other job-seekers use the excuse of the holidays to take a break from job-hunting, now is the time to step up your efforts and gain a competitive advantage in your quest for a new job. Now is the time to strengthen your network of contacts, uncover new job leads, and seek out job interviews.
Use holiday get togethers with family and friends to seek out job leads.
The people closest to you have your best interests at heart, and if you allow them, will assist you in uncovering potential leads to new jobs.
Volunteer your time.
So many organizations need help during the holidays but do remember to network with the people volunteering around you. Job-seekers and career experts surveyed for the networking book, A Foot in the Door, ranked volunteering among the top networking methods, second only to belonging to professional organizations.
Attend all professional holiday events - and bring along networking cards and copies of your resume. People are generally in a good mood - which makes these quasi social gatherings the perfect place to refresh and grow your network of contacts.
Send out holiday cards.
A great way during the holidays to follow up with recruiters and hiring managers, as well as reconnect with more distant network contacts, including former bosses, co-workers, customers, and suppliers
Renew your follow-up efforts for job interviews.
For jobs in which you have already submitted your resume, intensify your efforts to land an interview
Lay the groundwork for a new year job-search surge.
Use the slower pace of the holidays to examine every part of your job-search plan, including elements such as your system for finding job leads, your networking strategy, your marketing tools (including your resume, cover letter, branding), interviewing skills, and follow-up techniques. Take the time to also build your brand while expanding your online networking.
Source: Job-Hunting in the Holiday Season by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
Image: The Mirror UK