Contrary to popular opinion, December is an excellent time to ramp up your job search. Don’t believe it? Chew on this: What if you had an abundance of amazing networking opportunities and virtually no competition?
Exactly. Welcome to your holiday job search.
The truth of the matter is that hiring managers are always on the lookout for great talent, and the end of the year is no exception. This is why it’s imperative not to backslide into the distracting vacation mindset that starts happening as soon as Thanksgiving’s over. Companies are looking to hire, and you need to be looking, too.
Here’s how you can turn the end of the year dead-time into your most fruitful job search ever:
Leverage Networking Opportunities
If December isn’t already your most social month, make sure it is this year. Now is the perfect time to accept invitations to all kinds of social events, the more closely tied to your profession, the better. But remember, you don’t have to be at a “networking event” to make valuable connections. Just talk yourself up to the people you meet and put your best foot forward. Use the good cheer and holiday spirit to get to know partygoers better and form valuable connections for your career.
Has it been a while since you communicated with your professional contacts? Send a holiday card their way to let them know how much you value your relationship. Ideally, you’d keep in contact all year long, but the holidays are the perfect time to pick up the conversation where you left off.
When it comes to your most valuable contacts — former and potential employers, especially — use a more personal touch than just a holiday card. Invite your VIP contacts out for lunch, send them a thoughtful gift, or invite them to your holiday party. Do whatever it takes to let them know how important they are to you during this time of year.
Defeat the Competition
Aside from the abundance of networking opportunities, the best reason to double down on your holiday job search is because other people aren’t. Think about it —when most job seekers close their laptops and head out on vacation, there’s a much smaller pool of candidates for any given job. Bringing your A-game to the job search now shows diligence and responsibility, and it gives you the perfect opportunity to showcase how you stand out from the crowd.
Hit the Ground Running
Think about that empty job requisition from the hiring manager’s perspective — they have to fill it by Q1, which is just around the corner. The person who gets the job needs to get up to speed and start producing as fast as humanly possible. Seal the deal in your interview by stressing how you can hit the ground running and prove yourself as a great hire.
If you’re committed to finding a new job in 2015, the time to start is now. Remember: Getting distracted with the holidays won’t help you come January — but don’t forget to bring a joyful attitude to your December job search.