If you think your job search is over for the year once Santa Claus appears at the end of the Macy’s parade, perhaps it’s time to reconsider. While this may have been true in the world before smartphones, the internet, and social media, we now live in a 24/7 world. Employers hire throughout the holidays, making this the season to get ahead of some of your job search competitors.
Use holiday parties to network
With everyone you’ve ever known reconnecting and throwing parties and get-togethers, take the opportunity to network and put feelers out. You never know who you’ll meet over the punch bowl. That person you tied with for Ugliest Christmas Sweater may just be able to connect you with a company you’ve been passionately pursuing.
Invite contacts out to lunch
Take advantage of the holiday season slow-down. Because people are more willing to take a long lunch this time of year — or are simply taking time off — it can be easier to set up lunches with your contacts. Simply inviting people out is an excellent step to keep your networking game strong through the end of the year.
Keep applying and reaching out
Many businesses are in the process of approving budgets and hires for the following year, and you better believe they want to use this year’s budget to bring in next year’s hire. Hiring managers themselves may have more time available to devote to hiring, especially at companies where managers play an active role in interviewing. And many times, they would prefer to start the new year with positions filled. What’s more, because many candidates will be slowing down and taking the holidays easy, you’ll have an edge. So keep searching, continue applying, and remember to follow up with email, and connect with contacts on LinkedIn. Your mettle will stand out to someone.
Update your resume
In addition to these other tactics, take this time to update your resume and perhaps even have it re-designed by a professional. Spend extra time customizing different resume versions for different position types you’re looking at, so that when the job openings start flowing again, you’re ready to go.
Do your research
Build a spreadsheet or Trello board to track companies you want to work for, job openings you’re keeping track of, follow-ups via email, phone calls, and handwritten notes, and research you’ve performed. Did you go to college with someone who knows the CEO, but through Facebook, you know they’re on vacation? Make a note to follow up with them once you know they’re back to work. Is there a connection or anecdote you want to mention in an email, but don’t want to hit send until January 2nd? Keep track of it here. Spend this time preparing and doing the heavy lifting, and by the time everyone re-emerges in the new year, you won’t miss a beat.