Many people will put their job search activities “on hold” between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, because they believe that companies don’t hire during this time of year...and this couldn’t be further from the truth! 

Employers hire ALL 12 months of the year. Many new positions are funded to start with a new budget year, which often coincides with a new calendar year. Other companies have hiring budgets which must be spent before year-end, so hiring managers have the choice to either “use it or lose it.” 

Sometimes, it’s even easier to reach decision-makers directly during November and December; in some companies, key personnel and decision-makers will stay in the office during the holidays, while other staff takes mandatory paid time off.

Besides this, continuing your job search during the holiday season will you an edge over candidates who are “timing-out” until January, which means less competition for you!   

One aspect of the holiday season is that there are many opportunities to get out there and spread the word about your job search, like company parties, social gatherings and end-of-year professional association events. You never know who you’ll meet who could connect you to your next opportunity. People are also likely to be in a generous spirit and will have more time to help you.

Here are some ideas to get you started: 

  1. Accept all invitations you receive for holiday celebrations.Use these opportunities to make new connections and to reacquaint yourself with people who could be helpful in your job search.
  1. Reconnect with old friends and colleagues. Get back in touch with former co-workers and supervisors, high school and college classmates, former neighbors, etc. These people can be untapped sources of information, job leads, and referrals.
  1. Host your own holiday party which doesn’t have to be anything formal or elaborate; it can be as simple as a Sunday afternoon open house where people can mix and mingle. While your job search shouldn’t be the central focus of the party, you could mention it during individual conversations at the appropriate time.
  1. Volunteer. There are many opportunities during the holidays to give your time to charities and organizations. Some of these opportunities can help you build your network, make new connections, and bolster your resume with some value-added experience.  
  1. Send out holiday cards, if this is part of your end-of year tradition.  If you’re on a tight budget, e-cards can be more cost-effective than those sent via postal mail. Whichever method you choose, you’ll set the stage to contact the people on your address list after the holidays, to tell them you’re job searching and would appreciate their help.
  1. Update your social media presence. If you don’t yet have a LinkedIn profile, now is the time to create yours. If you have one, give it a fresh look. Invite new people to connect; then give and/or ask for recommendations.
  1. Look for opportunities to get your foot in the door. If you’re currently unemployed, look for temporary or seasonal jobs that may lead to full-time positions.
  1. Reconnect with recruiters. Many are trying to reach year-end recruiting goals at this time of the year, and you may have just the skills they are looking for.
  1. Be reachable. You might be asked to interview at unusual times, even the day before Christmas. Keep your phone turned on. Check your voice mail and  email (including your spam folder) daily, so that you won’t miss important messages about potential job opportunities.

So, think carefully before deciding to postpone your job search during the holiday season. A job search that continues through December will give you the opportunity to get hired before the end of the year…or a head start over other candidates when the calendar turns over on January 1, 2016.

© Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, The Career Success Coach.