by Mark Cummuta

Holiday Job Searches

Nov 24, 20073 mins

With the holidays already upon us, keeping up our job search strategies is a great way to take advantage of holiday opportunities.

I was meeting with a networking colleague a week ago, David Krull, who is also in a job search. With the holidays already in full swing, we both were a little worried about the old adage that no one hires during the holidays. But, apparently that has changed.

Recent studies and other people’s experience seems to indicate that recruiting and hiring continues right on through the holidays, and so we should too. In fact, some say that the holidays are a prime opportunity because many job seekers (as many as 50%!!) still believe the old myths. Thomas J. Wacker, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, says, “Smart job seekers realize that many of their competitors take the holidays off. They take advantage of that to compete for jobs against a smaller pool of candidates.”

If anything, experts say that as many as 30-40% of employers must fill positions and use budgeted dollars, or risk losing those in the next year’s budget. Other firms start ramping up their hiring efforts in December to get a lead on the big January rush.

Further, according to Phil Wallner, president of Provident Link and several executive recruiters I asked, in addition to wanting to meet their clients’ needs, recruiters have their own year-end quotas to meet (and gift giving purchases to make), making them just as eager as you to “make magic happen,” as Phil put it.

Most experts recommend staying with your current job search strategies throughout the holidays. If on specific days that isn’t possible, they say to do at least one big thing related to your job search that day to stay on track. A great example is to apply to at least one position daily. Another example is learning “How to Make the Most of Those Holiday Networking Sessions”.

Here are a few techniques that I will continue to use during this holiday season:

* Get in touch with all my recruiter contacts. Many eyes make for more opportunities. I’m willing to help them meet their quota and they’re willing to help find me a great job – oh, Joy to the World!

* Continue to network with targeted firms and industries. Sending brief holiday cards (not e-mails) to hiring managers you know is an example of staying in touch and out front, since very few job seekers take this step.

* Casually and informally update everyone of your job search status at holiday parties. This should not be your elevator speech, but more of a one or two sentence update to the question,“How are you?”

* Stay connected to your entire network. The holidays are a natural time to reach out and stay in touch. Same as at holiday parties, one or two sentences as an informal update to your job search as part of a larger update is best.

* Get out and volunteer and make new connections.

* Update my resume on ALL the sites I keep meaning to get to! 😀

Your continued efforts during the holidays shows you’re committed and available to those employers looking to find good employees. And, it keeps you focused for that January 2nd hiring boom, while everyone else is just getting started again.

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday weekend!