How to job-hunt over the holiday period

If you’ve been thinking to yourself “I’ll look for a job in the new year,” then it’s perhaps time to rethink your strategy. The new year may symbolise fresh starts, but it can put you at a great advantage to start your job hunting before the holiday period.

Here’s what you need to know about finding employment during the festivities.

You’ll get a head start on the new year rush

January is generally a very busy time for recruiters, as all those people who made new year’s resolutions to find a new job start looking for opportunities. What’s more, many people who are already looking for a job put their hunt on hold over the holidays, so there can be less competition for those jobs that are available.

There’s plenty of seasonal work

For some industries, the holiday period is the busiest time. Industries such as hospitality, retail, emergency services, media, and travel are likely to be offering seasonal work. This can provide valuable work experience that can help you with your next career step.

Hiring doesn’t stop over the holidays

Recruiters The Undercover Recruiter and Techno Jobs suggest several reasons why determined job seekers could take advantage of the temporary quiet period.

Some companies or departments need to spend whatever is left of their hiring budget so that they don’t lose next year’s funds.
Some companies like to start the new year fully staffed, and therefore try to fill all of their positions before the end of the year.
Many people leave their jobs in anticipation of finding a new one in the new year, leaving vacancies to be filled as soon as possible.
Many companies still work through the Christmas period – business doesn’t stop for everyone.
If companies are advertising positions over the holidays, you can make yourself stand out by applying during a quieter time – hiring mangers don’t always switch off their email during the holidays.

However… many companies do put hiring on hold

Luckily, there are so many things you can do over the holidays, alongside applying for jobs, to put yourself at an advantage. Use the extra time you have off work as an opportunity to look for jobs, prepare applications and brush up on skills in time for the January hiring rush.

Christmas events like office parties and awards ceremonies are great networking opportunities.
Chat to recruiters informally on LinkedIn and Twitter to keep yourself fresh in their minds.
Increase your employability skills by taking online courses – updating your skills is vital in standing out to employers.
Use the time to volunteer in an area related to the industry you want to work in – Christmas is a charitable time.
Spruce up your CV and spend extra time writing your cover letters, portfolios and other application materials.
Spend time developing your personal brand on LinkedIn – get a professional photo taken, edit your introduction and ask your connections for endorsements and recommendations while they have a little more spare time, too.