Use These Tips to Advance Your Holiday Job Search
The holidays are a lovely time, and most of us look forward to them each year. This is the time when business seems to slow down, providing us with some extra time to breathe and re-center before the new year. Unfortunately for the more than 60,000 people (according to Forbes) who’ve lost their jobs since September, they may have to launch a holiday job search as the year comes to a close.
While you may think that the time between November and January would be the worst time to look for a new job, the truth is that it might just be the best time. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 10.3 million positions were available as of October 31, making the odds of finding a new role very good for those who are looking. But what can you do to increase your chances of landing one of those coveted spots? Here are some tips to keep you focused on the finish line and create some buzz.
Attend Holiday Networking Events
For the first time in a few years, people are holding holiday parties in person. Whether through a Chamber of Commerce, business networking group, or even your child’s school party, you’re likely to meet a whole host of people who are new to you. And this is an excellent opportunity to advance your holiday job search!
When networking, be sure to prepare yourself ahead of time and be ready to mix and mingle. You’ll want to have a great 30-second commercial at the ready, some questions to ask about the people you meet, and a way to gracefully exit a conversation and move on to meet others. Take business cards with you but be wary about how and when you’re sharing them. Some holiday events are clearly for networking and business building, while others are more about having a good time and enjoying eggnog and pretty lights. If you really want to follow up and don’t feel a card exchange is the best idea, jot down the person’s name and look them up on LinkedIn after the event. Or better yet, ask the host to make a formal introduction for you.
Since many people’s schedules get a little lighter during this time of year, you will probably gain more traction on LinkedIn when doing some targeted outreach. The people you want to reach may be spending more time on social media and emails as their workload lightens. Elevate your holiday job search results by reaching out to your current connections to wish them a happy holiday season and see what their plans are for the new year. Search for new-to-you people who are in the industry, role, or company you want to be and see if you can learn more about them. Comment on other job seekers’ posts by doing a search on LinkedIn for #opentowork or #laidoff. There’s strength in working together, and most people on the platform are more than happy to help if they can.
One heartening trend we’re seeing on LinkedIn recently is members sharing their vulnerability. They’re talking about being laid off so close to the holidays, the struggles they’re having with applying and interviewing for positions, and are being candid about the challenges they’re facing. It’s not easy to be vulnerable, especially on so public a platform, but it could go a long way toward keeping your holiday job search top of mind and helping you create even more connections.
Keep Applying for Jobs
You may have heard that employers put searches on hold during the holiday season. Fortunately for you, that’s not always (or even often) the case. Plenty of companies are still looking for top talent, and even if you and they both understand you might not start in a new role until the new year, that doesn’t mean you can’t be looking now.
Use all the typical methods of finding a position, including LinkedIn, Indeed, and even Google. To be sure your resume gets through applicant tracking software (ATS) systems, remember to update your resume each time you apply by:
- Changing the resume title to match the job title.
- Pulling keywords from the “must have” section of the job description and incorporating them into your areas of expertise.
- Reworking your summary to address the specific experience and talents the position requests.
Also, if a cover letter is requested, update and personalize that to match each position as well.
Focus on a Successful Holiday Job Search
A positive attitude is a must for your holiday job search! It’s contagious, and it lets employers know you’re ready to get to work for them. Create excitement through your LinkedIn posts, infuse personality into your resume and cover letter, and shine inside and out in your interview. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to a wonderful new position!
Resume and Career Services helps job seekers accelerate their search through a comprehensive program that includes determining your career path, creating an interview-getting resume, optimizing and leveraging LinkedIn, learning how to ace your interview, and negotiating the best offer. Learn more about the program here.