I just read an article on job hunting in December. The article said how December is a great time to look for a new job. I was surprised by this information; as I always thought the end of the year was a bad time to look for a new job. Here is what I gleaned from the article.
- Many companies are finalizing their budgets for the upcoming year, and will be adding staff. Now is a good time to get your resume in front of a hiring manager for the New Year. Most companies work on a calendar year basis, as opposed to a fiscal year.
- Get out and socialize. Parties, industry events and gatherings provide a great opportunity to mix and mingle with potential employers.
- Your completion level drops off in December. Most job seekers don’t want to bother with their job search during the holidays. You will more likely get noticed when the competition thins out.
- Reconnect with old contacts. I have a list of recruiters who I have dealt with in the past. I have shared this list with many others, and suggest they reconnect with them now. In my opinion, during a job search you can never have too many recruiters working for you. You have to take the initiative, and call them regularly. New opportunities come in all the time, and now is a great time to let them know you are in the market for a new job.
Here are several of my own suggestions for a successful job search.
Reach out to former employers. I recently read that nearly 50% of jobs are found through networking. Be actively engaged on LinkedIn. If you are interested in working for a particular company, sign up on their website for job opening notifications.
In mid-2013, I found out my position was being eliminated. I was bummed out because this was my dream job. The employer asked me to stay on for two months to help out with the transition. I was happy to oblige. During those two months I sent out LinkedIn invitations to every one of my co-workers who were on LinkedIn. I also asked if any of my current co-workers knew of any employers looking for people. I got very positive feedback, and doubled the amount of my LinkedIn connections. I also asked people to endorse my skills. Some of these wonderful folks wrote nice recommendations for me. We live in a digital age, and having a good LinkedIn profile is crucial.
If you are currently unemployed, do volunteer work. Having large gaps on your resume will hurt you. You will be helping others in your community, and this may lead to potential jobs. I work full time and volunteer with two local organizations. I visit with an elderly gentleman every week, and teach financial literacy to high school students. Being unemployed can be depressing, helping others makes you feel good.
Last but not least, try and help others who are looking for work if you can. If you see that one of your LinkedIn connections knows a person at a company you are interested in, ask for an introduction.
Sitting on the couch eating Christmas cookies and drinking eggnog is great during the holidays, but don’t let that be the only thing you do.