Looking for work is work. It takes time, energy and focus. It requires skills in research, marketing, writing, networking and interviewing. These challenges can be magnified around the time of winter holidays. There is typically a lull in posted roles and a reduced number of interviews held around that time.
Here are 4 tips on how to support your job search during the winter holidays.
1) Focus on optimizing your career brand. Spend some time thinking about which of your skills and qualities will be most compelling to the majority of potential employers. Review your resume and LinkedIn profile to ensure they are ideally representing your key transferable skills. Engage more on LinkedIn. Join some groups, refresh your profile photo, and perhaps consider posting in the newsfeed. Take this time to run your resume through an applicant tracking software test. Review some postings you have been interested in and compare your resume against those requirements. These efforts will serve you well when more roles are posted in the New Year.
2) Anticipate more receptivity to your networking requests. It’s a time of year when people are ‘busy’, and yet they are typically not as busy with pressing work matters or projects. Therefore, it’s a good time to ramp up your networking efforts. This may include something as subtle as requesting more strategic connections on LinkedIn, to something more overt like requesting an informational interview at an organization you’re interested in learning more about. It’s also a good time to ask for recommendations or request introductions to people on LinkedIn. Putting energy into networking is likely to pay off because that’s how most people secure their next opportunity.
3) Conduct targeted research. The winter holidays may be a downtime for recruitment and job search, but by the second week in January, it will likely pick up again. Use the lull time to prepare for that spike. Research organizations you’re interested in. This can be based on the industry, the brand, the geographical desirability or whatever factors are most important to you. LinkedIn and company websites are invaluable tools.
4) Enjoy the holidays. It’s likely that you will need to put effort into remaining positive about your job search at a time when there is a decline in momentum. However, it is better to accept that reality and focus on remaining positive. This is a time when people will likely want to gather and connect. Best to practice your current career narrative so you are prepared to speak about where you’re at, whether it be between roles or hoping to move from your current role to a new opportunity. If you’re socializing and enjoying the winter festivities January will come along quickly and then you can re-immerse yourself in an active job search. Until then, I hope these tips are helpful and ‘happy holidays’!