Many people have begun celebrating 2016’s holiday season. It is easy to assume that everyone is enjoying this time of year.
However, for people who are not employed, the holiday season can be very stressful, distracting and even depressing. It is very important not to give up searching for a job at the end of the year.
The Holiday Season is a Great Ice-Breaker
If you are currently out of work, take heart. Use the holiday season to your advantage. Companies are hiring, and there is less competition. Most job seekers drop out during November and December. In fact, it might be the easiest time of the year to find a job!
- Reach out to your online network: Say hello and connect, even if you haven’t spoken to someone in your network all year. Everyone enjoys receiving a ‘Season’s Greetings’ or ‘Happy Holidays’ message! Remember, not everyone celebrates Christmas. Consider a ‘Happy New Year‘ alternative message.
- Reach out to your personal network: If your friends and extended family don’t know that you are looking for a job, let them know, casually, at holiday events.Don’t be shy. Most people are happy to have the opportunity to help, especially during the season of giving.
- Send out holiday cards to recruiters and hiring managers with a short note: Yes– real paper cards. If you have an up-to-date mailing address, the post office will deliver your card to the office. You’d be surprised how happy people feel when they get a card with a nice note written in it! Your name and card may be on the recipient’s desk all season.Assume they won’t remember you, so include a brief reminder of your last contact, who you are, and, perhaps, a business card. That’s it. You don’t need to send candy, or a small present.
- Attend professional holiday events: Not only will this cheer you up, but it is easy to network because everyone is in a good mood. Bring a business card and make new friends. Join a new meet-up in your industry. Explore new networks. Almost every group has festivities planned in December, and that’s when you will meet the most people.
- Make time to volunteer: Volunteer in spare time to hone skills at a place of interest, or in a related field. You can put that experience on a resume, and make new networking contacts.
- Pay attention to the first two weeks of December: Lots of hiring managers will be traveling during Thanksgiving, and also before the end of 2016. That’s why the first two weeks of December are generally busy times where companies are working to complete projects before the end of the year– including reviewing resumes, setting up interviews and finalizing their hiring process.Many companies have their budgets for the new year and are recruiting for people to start work in January. So, looking in January is looking too late for jobs at these companies.
- Prepare for 2017: Use the end of December to your advantage. Re-examine your resume, cover letter, and branding. Change your dates from 2016 to 2017. Follow-up with all of the contacts that you made while networking, and to everyone who received a card.
- Try to relax: It’s important to take some time for yourself and your family. Count your blessings. Renew and recharge.