Expert Author Georgiana Carollus
The holidays are coming and many job searchers are accepting the common misconception that they should halt their efforts until after the New Year. Those who put their search on hold may be missing out on critical opportunities. Instead of slowing your job search down, the holidays are a great time to redouble your efforts.
Recruiting will take place in late November and December for January hiring. Will you be in that candidate pool? There is less competition in the job market during the holidays because so many people drop out. Employers trying to meet January hiring demands are faced with fewer qualified candidates. In addition, key decision makers may be more accessible during the holiday lull. Well-prepared and resourceful job searchers will find it easier to get noticed.
How can you make the most of your search campaign during the holidays? Most importantly, take advantage of the social nature of the season.
The holidays are a wonderful excuse to reconnect with people. Use this time to re-establish relationships with people you have lost touch with. Keep it genuine - this means that you contact those with whom you have had good relationships rather than everyone you have ever met. When you contact people, ask about them as well as sharing your situation and asking for help in finding leads and opportunities.
Holiday cards are a great way to touch base with recruiters and hiring managers. To be safe, a generic 'Happy Holidays' card is probably most appropriate. Write a personal note thanking them for whatever they did for you in the past and include a business card. You could also ask for guidance or advice. You may want to close by suggesting a follow-up call or meeting.
If you aren't using social media yet, use some of your spare time to update your LinkedIn profile, follow colleagues and professionals with Twitter, and create a professional Facebook identity. Expand your visibility by tweeting your insights about professional developments and by joining LinkedIn discussion groups.
Many holiday events offer rich networking opportunities. Look at every event as a chance to meet someone who can help you find your next position. If you have a tendency to isolate yourself, force yourself to get out and socialize. Be prepared with a strong pitch you can use to sell yourself to a potential employer.
Many job searchers stop their search during the holidays because family obligations can become overwhelming. Maintaining a full-time job search requires commitment and a strict schedule. Set a key job search goal for each day and commit to completing it. Instead of trying to fit your job search into your social activities, work your social activities around your job search.
Keep your focus on your job search during the holiday season. Use the social opportunities the season offers to make beneficial contacts. Land your next job while everyone else is taking a break from their job search.


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