You’re right. December is a month when hiring slows down. Hiring managers might be traveling for the holidays or waiting for next year’s budget to make hiring decisions. This does not mean, however, that there are no jobs out there or that you should forget about your job search all together this December.
Successful job seekers aim to be the first person hiring managers think of when starting to recruit for a role. January typically means a hiring boom, so set the stage to be the one that hiring managers think of when a job pops up in the New Year. Here are some easy ways to make the best of your December search.
Stay in touch and meet new people at the same time! Keep an eye out for industry holiday parties. These can be great opportunities to catch up with dozens of connections at once while also expanding your network. Meeting with friends and colleagues in person is far more memorable than a quick email to check in. A mixer atmosphere means that people are ready to chat and mingle, as opposed to more traditional meetings where it can be harder to break into a circle of people chatting or everyone is focused on a presenter. If you have a running list of people with whom you plan to connect this month, you might be able to check many of them off with one event.
Share your search with those you don’t often see. The end of the year will bring opportunities to reconnect with those you don’t see often– your spouse’s colleague at an office party, or your third cousin in town for the holidays, for instance. Use these opportunities to let a new set of people know that you’re on the market and what you’re looking for. It will help spread the word about your search to a fresh group of people and expand to their networks, as well. A ‘reconnection’ might hold the keys to your next opportunity. You never know to whom people are connected, so don’t dismiss anyone as a person who can’t help.
Spend time applying for jobs online. Networking lunches, meetings and interviews might slow down as everyone is rushing around for the holidays. Also, job seekers often take a break from their searches, convinced that there aren’t any jobs available. These factors make December a great time to check out job boards. You’ll be among a much smaller group of applicants and there is a higher chance that your follow up email will be read if inboxes are a little less full. Check out more tips in my article about Tackling Job Boards.
Prepare for 2017 interviews. Why scramble when you schedule the interview? Start to get ready for your New Year interviews now. Make a list of stories that you’d want to share in an interview – a proud accomplishment, a team victory, a challenging customer or successful product launch. Put these stories in SOAR format – Situation, Obstacle, Action and Result. Not only will this exercise get you ready for interviews, it will also bolster your confidence as you reflect on your achievements.
Enjoy the season! We can’t job search every minute. Be effective in the work you do and remember that the best you is well rested and not overwhelmed by your search. Treat yourself to a glass of eggnog or a holiday concert and trust that your efforts will surely pay off.
Use these tips to stay consistent in your search efforts, even as things slow down. Although we might face a lull, it is not true that ‘no one is hiring this time of year’ or ‘nothing is open right now.’ This season brings many unique opportunities to explore and conquer.