Thinking of taking a break from your job search during the holidays? You’re not the only one, which is exactly why you should continue like it’s the middle of May.
“I’ve always had strong activity through the holidays,” says Kari Bodmer, principal at Bodmer Executive Search. “It can be more of a challenge to get meetings scheduled, but winter weather conditions have been a much bigger factor than the holidays.”
Before you press pause on setting up informational meetings, tap the brakes on responding to online job applications, pare down your list of November/December gatherings, or delay recruiter follow-ups, consider these advantages:
Less competition for vacant positions
Employers are still motivated to fill the jobs they need or have budgeted for. Fewer job seekers means better odds that you’ll join a candidate pool for active positions.
Maintain momentum you’ve gained since activating your search
Job searching is a job unto itself. You’ve worked hard to identify your target jobs, grow your network, respond to applications, and build a pipeline of new connections and leads. Keep moving forward and stay on track, since you never know when you’ll uncover the right opportunity. Even if you’re not actually hired in December, you’ll have the meetings set up. Be ahead of the curve when the interviews rev up in January.
More holiday events = more networking opportunities
Resist the temptation to pace yourself and cut out excess activity, and capitalize on the plethora of parties . Use social and professional holiday events to grow your network, build relationships, and solidify connections. Remember that friends and family can help, too.
Although the week between Christmas and New Year’s is slow, Bodmer advises candidates to keep a close eye on postings and LinkedIn emails throughout November and December, even when they’re busier than usual.
“One year I had a client call the day after Christmas with an executive position that required urgent recruiting attention.”
Be Clear About Your Availability
If you do become a candidate, she says to be proactive and clear with the recruiter or potential employer about your availability, especially if you’re traveling. Give clear direction about how they can contact you, whether you’ll be out of cell phone range for any period of time, and if there are communication blackout days.
Don’t be one of the crowd waiting until January to contact companies, recruiters, or networking contacts. Stay the course and you just may be up and running in January (while everyone else is introducing themselves).