Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck
National Certified Career Counselors and Life Calling CoachesSM
Is getting a new job is at the top of your Christmas
"wish list"? If so, resist the temptation to put your job search on
hold until after the holidays are over. Many job hunters think that job
searching between Thanksgiving and New Year's is a waste of time. If you buy
into this mindset, you are losing the advantages that job hunting during the
Why Holiday Job Hunting Can Be Very
many job hunters think it's a waste of time to job hunt during the holidays,
they don't send resumes directly to companies during December. They mistakenly
think that their resume and cover letter will be lost amidst the Christmas mail
or that employers won't be hiring. These are both false assumptions. Your
resume may in fact receive more attention because fewer resumes are being
received. You can therefore be one of a few applicants instead of one of
More access to decision makers: Business
travel slows at the end of the year, and holiday vacations have not yet begun.
It often is easier to connect with hiring managers during this time.
have to fill job openings before the end of the year: Many
companies have budgets that have to be spent before the end of the year.
They therefore want to fill some positions immediately so they don't lose
budget funding for the following year. Other companies need to fill
positions to be ready for the next year's projects, so they either hire
before the end of the year or engage in interviewing and selecting
candidates to be hired in January.
spirit: People tend to be in good
spirits during the holidays and are socializing more frequently. Job
hunters can use both of these factors to their advantage!
Quick Tips for Holiday Job Hunting
View holiday events as a venue for
finding potential job leads. Who knows who you'll meet at your
neighbor's Christmas coffee? You never know who will be the person with that
key job lead. You will avoid being offensive when you communicate genuine
interest in the person. As you're talking to people, you can ask them what they
do. They'll probably ask you the same question in return. Describe your work
background and career goals before mentioning that you are job hunting. Be
prepared with a one-sentence description of the type of position you are
seeking. If a person doesn't offer a suggestion or contact, you can just
casually hand them a personal business card with your contact information, and
let them know you would appreciate them letting you know if they think of
anyone. You can then ask them a question about themselves or go on to some
other topic of conversation to communicate your goal wasn't just to pump them
for a job lead.
Build relationships with your
professional contacts. Touching base with your
contacts-former co-workers, customers, clients, vendors and other business
associates-to wish them a Merry Christmas (or whichever holiday greeting is
appropriate for them) and let them know that you are still available. For some
of them, you might want to also invite them to meet for coffee or lunch.
Remember that the purpose of these contacts is to build relationships, not to
ask for a job or share your job-hunting woes.
Reconnect with prospective employers.
Send Christmas or holiday cards with your personal business
card enclosed to managers with whom you've recently interviewed. Write a
personal note of greeting; mention something you enjoyed about meeting the
Volunteer to provide help and make
connections. Many organizations need volunteers
during the holidays. If you are interested in working for a particular church
or nonprofit organization, volunteering is a great way to get an "inside
look" at the organization and to meet people who work there. You can also
look for volunteer positions which will give you the opportunity to meet many
business people in your community or industry. Other benefits of volunteering
are that it gets you out of the house and connects you with other people; helps
lift your spirits if you're feeling down about your job situation; and gives
you the satisfaction and joy that comes from helping others.
Keep track of everyone you meet. One
great resource for doing this is JibberJobber.com.
Look up your contacts on Linkedin.com
and request adding them to your professional network.
Follow up with your new contacts in
January. Ask them for
their advice on your job search and for any organizations or individuals that
they would suggest that you contact.
So don't take a vacation from your job hunt during the
holidays! Schedule at least one job search activity each day. Employers value
people who are proactive, stay focused and optimistic, and help others as well
as asking for assistance along the way. Remember also that you are not alone-in
this Christmas season, embrace anew that God loves you and that with Him,
"nothing is impossible" (Luke 1:37).