The holiday season is in full swing. If you aren’t feeling the holiday magic as you think about your job search, know this: November and December are actually a great time to amplify your game and get ahead of other candidates who won’t pick up the job search until January.
After all, not only are people generally happier during the season, but they’re still on the lookout for top talent in this seasonally less competitive environment. All things considered, the holiday’s are a great time to get ahead in your job search.
Ready to get started? Here are 7 things you should be doing this holiday season to secure your next job faster.
Tap into your networks
It may feel awkward to reconnect with people you’ve lost touch with long ago. But the holiday’s create a great atmosphere for doing just that, in the least awkward way. From sending a simple message on social media to wish them a happy holiday to inviting them to your holiday party, now is the time to fan the flames on those old relationships.
Rather than thinking of things like networking as “work” reframe it so that you can have fun while you do it. Got a holiday party coming up? Don your fine holiday attire (or ugly Christmas sweater), pick up that sugar cookie and holiday brew and start connecting with others around you. Keep conversations light and fun as you reconnect with old acquaintances or meet new ones. If the conversation shifts to work, feel free to mentions that you’re on the job market. You should definitely name drop about the companies or industries you’re interested in. You never know where the connections can start.
Solicit interviews during the slow times
The last two weeks of the year tend to be the slowest of all, as business winds down for the holiday. Have some target companies in mind? Reach out to the decision-makers about setting up a short interview for you to learn more about their company and what they’re looking for. You’ll also likely find it easier to get hold of decision-makers during this time (and especially during the final week of the year) as their assistants are likely out of the office.
Polish up your resume
If your job applications have been met with less than eager responses, it’s likely time to reevaluate how you’re presenting yourself on your resume. Take stock of your skills and experiences, and fill in any gaps missing from your current draft. Rethink your roles in your previous jobs so you can best express your experiences and skills. Take time to tailor your resume specifically to the demands of each job that interests you so that when HR looks over your resume, they only see a perfect fit.
Spruce up your LinkedIn profile (and activity)
If you’ve gotten by with the bare minimum (photo and name) on LinkedIn, now is the perfect time to take some time and give your profile a read-worthy facelift. Upload a professional image, write or flesh out your bio, add your resume of experience, and, if you’re in a creative field, upload some portfolio items. You can also reach out to other connections and past clients/employers to ask for a recommendation. Then start reaching out to connections with well-wishes for the holidays and the year ahead. You may just strike up some great conversations and even greater opportunities.
Holiday parties are on most people’s lists of things happening this season. But there are plenty of professional holiday events that you should consider too. Check out events happening at your chamber of commerce, or in your networks. Calendar the events and create a strategy for each one that relates to a particular goal. If possible, find out who will be attending and strategize accordingly.
Do some good
Have you been trying to connect with top companies to no avail? The end of the year is rich with company heads attending fundraising events so they can get some good in along with an end-of-year tax break. While the high price of attendance may put it out of your budget, volunteering to keep the event rolling smoothly is always much appreciated. You’ll be doing good for yourself and others while hobnobbing with leaders who may hold the keys to your future.
So don’t let yourself fall prey to the idea that you should just cozy up with some hot chocolate and a movie and let the holiday season pass you by. Make the most of it now to experience the most of it when you finally get that job offer.