People are increasingly asking how they should go about a job search during the holidays.
It’s unsurprising when you consider the volume of high-profile layoffs that have dominated the headlines in the latter half of 2022, particularly in the technology sector.
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Since completing his acquisition of Twitter in October, Elon Musk has overseen the mass layoff of around 7,500 employees.
In a message to Meta employees, Mark Zuckerberg announced mass layoffs for the first time in the company’s history.
Changes to Apple’s privacy settings have contributed to a considerable hit in advertising revenue that has sent Meta stock plunging to its lowest level in six years.
“Their advertising revenue has been their bread and butter for over a decade, so it is a big hit,” Rashid Ali, co-founder and CEO of UK metaverse company Exarta, told Verdict.
The list goes on; Netflix, Klarna, Coinbase, Microsoft and Amazon, are just a few more examples of large organizations laying people off.
You may well have found yourself affected by the most recent global downturn, and whilst layoffs are bad enough, the approaching holidays make them even harder to swallow.
Job searching during the holidays
Ensuring that you allocate your time to the most effective job search activities is even more essential during the holidays when time is precious.
For this article, I’ve enlisted the help of four Job Search Journey Career Experts to help you successfully navigate your holiday job search.
Do people look for jobs during the holiday season?
The holidays are traditionally about taking time out to celebrate.
However, as 2022 comes to a close, many people are left with no choice but to begin job searching during the holidays.
Traditionally people avoid job search searching during the holidays
You would be forgiven for assuming that other job seekers, recruiters, and employers will down tools over the festive period.
But, executing a job search, or remaining active in a job search, during this time of year actually has some surprising benefits.
Contrary to popular belief, there are always plenty of jobs that need to be filled and lots of companies searching for employees.
I took the question to LinkedIn
Here’s what 2,393 respondents have to say on the topic of holiday job hunting.
The vast majority of voters agree that they will continue to go hard or at least remain steady in their search efforts.
If you read the comments, many recruiters and professionals weigh in with additional benefits – and cautions – for consideration.
Why you should look for a job during the holidays
I asked some of Job Search Journey’s career experts to share their holiday job search strategies.
Each expert agrees that remaining active in a search is important. Yet, not as important as mental health or taking time to enjoy the season.
Erica Reckamp – Job Search Like a Pro
Erica Reckamp is a resume writer and job search strategist.
Erica says; “give yourself the best holiday gift — the peace of mind you gain from securing actionable leads and possibly even offers!”
“Job seekers often slow down over the holidays. They decide they’ll tackle that resume update in January. They relax their networking and follow-up activities. They neglect their email”
If you’re considering taking a break from your job search — think again!
Erica shares 7 reasons why you should continue your job search over the holidays:
- Many hiring authorities are eager to hire.
- If you have the bandwidth to continue your search, you will stand out among a less crowded candidate pool.
- At the end of the year, many hiring authorities want to spend the last of their budgets on talent! Once the new year hits, they lose access to those funds and might find themselves with a smaller budget.
- Company-wide days off give hiring authorities a breather and they might fill their time with looking into promising candidates.
- Over the holidays, people tend to be in a very giving mood. They’re more likely to respond to outreach or provide helpful feedback.
- While lots of job seekers tend to slow down, hiring does not! Many recruiters report November and December as an incredibly busy time of year for hiring.
- You might find the hiring process fast-tracked in an effort to lock in or even train new employees to be primed for a strong start in 2023.
Bob Goodwin – Career Club
“Should I really be job searching with the holidays right around the corner?” asked Bob from Career Club in a recent LinkedIn post.
Short answer… Yes!
The sentiment behind this statement unfortunately stops many from taking action year-round. “Oh, summer vacation is just around the corner…” or “Maybe I should just wait until after Labor Day.”
In reality, time is not your friend. Every day you wait, someone else is networking, connecting, or applying for a role that would be an excellent fit for you.
Angela Watts – MyPro Resume
Angela Watts, a former recruiter, and resume writer agrees that there is a competitive advantage to remaining diligent in your search over the holidays.
However, Angela also warns that a job search can be stressful and if you need time to rest this holiday season – do so!
“No job is worth your mental health. Do you need a few weeks to focus on your family and take a break? If so, the holidays can be a good time to relax and avoid job search burnout.”
“If you do take a break, it’s a great idea to have your target employer list and job search documents ready, so you can hit the ground running as we ring in 2023.”
Hannah Mason – The English Meeting Room
Hannah Mason, a former recruiter, interview coach and executive resume writer, states that “it’s important to allocate time for job search activities and to set clear boundaries…whilst I don’t recommend putting the job search completely on hold, it’s essential that it doesn’t take over your enjoyment of the holiday season.”
How to job search during the holidays
Our job search experts outline three key strategies for your holiday job search.
1. Make sure you do not get forgotten about this season
Angela suggests that job seekers remain diligent in their follow-up: “Keeping your name, interest and value front and centre can ensure you aren’t lost in their break from routine.
Even if they aren’t ready to proceed until after the holidays, you can stay on their mind.”
2. Keep following up
Erica agrees, “follow up for the win!”
“Many job seekers allow leads to go cold by neglecting to follow up. Explore varying channels of outreach — phone, email, handwritten card, commenting on LinkedIn posts, etc. to remain top of mind. Some candidates are fielding multiple offers and leaving shortly after accepting a role for an even better offer. If you stay in touch, you could be a top contender for an even stronger offer.”
3. Capitalize on the reduced competition
Hannah says that “Whilst there are often fewer roles advertised in the holiday season, there are also far fewer people applying. That means that if there is a suitable role available, you are likely to face less competition. As a recruiter, I hired for roles throughout December. The candidates that won the roles were those who applied quickly after the position was posted and didn’t wait until after the holidays.”
4. Market yourself as the perfect holiday gift
Bob Goodwin says as companies make their budget arrangements for the next calendar/fiscal year, now may actually be the best time for you to market yourself to companies you’d be excited to work for.
Some valuable contacts actually have more time to speak with you as business schedules slow down.
Let your target companies know that you are ready and available, as workloads slow down people have more time to read emails and LinkedIn messages during December.
What are the benefits of job searching during the holidays?
In addition to the abundance of seasonal jobs that appear this time of year (which can act as a springboard into other opportunities), here are two additional ways that a job search during the holidays can help.
1. Competition may be less intense during the holidays
As many job seekers take time off from their search, take advantage of lulls by continuing to apply to open roles.
Work to get your resume seen. An organization may desperately want to fill a role before the new year commences or a year-end budget closes.
2. There are more opportunities to connect during the holidays
During the holiday season, you can network and spread the word about your search and career requirements.
Schedule plenty of time to attend events, both personal and professional, and mingle with a variety of people.
You never know who may offer a lead or an opportunity, referrals are a great way to improve job search success.
3. It’s a great time to prepare for the peak recruitment season in January 2023
Even if you don’t locate many opportunities, the holidays are an excellent time to prepare for the upcoming peak in recruitment.
This recruitment peak starts when everyone returns to work in January – one of the busiest, and often most competitive, search times of the year.
CNBC News states that “hiring increases 30 percent in the first month of the year.”
4. Solicit the help of career professionals and use the spare time you have
Get career tools updated, and put a modern action plan into place for 2023.
Avoid being caught unprepared (or slow out of the starting gate) when great opportunities get posted in January 2023.
Final thoughts & resources
The holiday season is a time for hope. If you’ve recently been laid off or have found yourself in a job search for any other reason, don’t despair.
As our experts all agree, the holiday season can actually offer many surprising job search opportunities.
The holidays are a wonderful time to explore beyond your traditional network — volunteer opportunities abound with new connections!! Consider food pantries, soup kitchens, coordinating a local giving tree, or even serving onsite during community events if you’re available.
In the meantime begin to gather your key accomplishments ready for 2023 with Erica’s highly-rated tool, Finding Numbers for Accomplishments.
There is only one wrong answer to “When should I look for a job” and that answer is later. Research your next move, fire up your network, and brush up on your professional accomplishments.
Focus on maintaining a positive outlook, and believe that even now during the holidays you can make something happen.
In his celebrated course, Making Your Own Weather, Bob explains exactly how to challenge and change your mindset. Despite being in the midst of the winter holiday season, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t see fruit from your job search efforts.
Don’t forget to focus on what matters most. Job search is a temporary activity. Your family, friends and colleagues will be a consistent presence. It’s important to reserve some energy, time and consideration for the important people in your life.
Take some time to consider the right job for you in 2023 with Angel’s Finding Your Fit Guide.
This guide will walk you through 6 key employment “fit” areas and teaches you how to research, ask questions and evaluate your level of fit with a potential employer.
Don’t just make a career move, make the right move!
The market is particularly unpredictable right now and this may well lead to even more hiring this holiday season and New Year compared to previous years.
Make sure that your resume is up-to-date and ready for all the opportunities coming your way in 2023 with Hannah’s ATS-friendly professional resume templates.
With a new year fast approaching and job uncertainty on the rise, consider executing the tips in this post sooner rather than later.
Of course, the holidays should be about family and much-needed downtime, but if you are on the hunt for a new job or feel like your role may be in jeopardy, now is the time to act.
For more tips on job search and executive resume writing services, please visit me at Career Impressions, follow me on LinkedIn, or check out my shop on Job Search Journey. Happy holidays and I wish you great success with your job search!