If you’re thinking of putting your job search off until after the holidays, think again. Although conventional wisdom holds that looking for a job during this time is a futile exercise, evidence suggests the contrary. A survey by online executive career network ExecuNet says that 69% of recruiters report placing as many, or more, candidates in December as in any other month.
In fact, if you wait until January, you risk facing one of the toughest and most competitive job markets of the year. And you miss out on many great opportunities to make connections and catch employers before the big post-holiday hangover.
Still not convinced? Here are some other reasons why December helps to make your job-hunting season bright.
Tis the Season for Networking
So many holiday parties, so little time. From professional functions and office parties, to community gatherings and dinner parties, there’s no shortage of holiday events to keep you rubbing shoulders with new contacts and reconnecting with old friends.
Just remember, you’re there to have fun. The best way to network is by making personal connections, not by assaulting someone with your elevator pitch. Keep the conversation friendly and natural. If you meet somebody who might be helpful in your job search, ask for his or her information and follow-up later.
Temporary and Seasonal Jobs are Abundant
December is an unusually busy time of the year for many businesses. Therefore it stands to reason that they’ll need lots of extra help to get through the month. In addition to retail and sales positions, there are positions available in numerous other fields including shipping, marketing, design, entertainment, hospitalty and online content management.
Take advantage of these temporary opportunities to get your foot in the door, or to simply earn extra cash while you’re looking for something more permanent.
There’s Less Competition
Yes, it’s still a best-kept secret that employers are actually hiring this month. So keep your mouth shut and take advantage of it while others are slacking off or checking out for holiday vacation early. Not only will you stand out to employers in the dearth of job applications, your diligence will too.
Employers are in Better Moods
There’s plenty to be happy about and look forward to during the holidays: parties, presents, bonuses and a big vacation. Plus, the office just feels a little more relaxed and festive. Wouldn’t you rather catch an employer now, when they’re feeling gracious and charitable than in January, when they’re feeling hung-over, over-extended and quite possibly over-drawn?
Employers Want to be Ready for January
Hopefully you had the employers all to yourself in December and were given the chance to dazzle them when nobody else was around to challenge you. This puts you at an advantage come January when employers return to the office and are eager to hire someone right away. Rather than fighting your way with the rest of the herd, you’re already top-of-mind. If you’re lucky, you’ve already convinced them. But if not, at least you know you’re being considered. And best of all, your skills will still be sharp when it’s time to nail the next interview.