December MAY be a Great Time to Job Hunt!
True or false: No one is hiring over the holidays.
False. It turns out that December actually may be a prime time to land a job.
A survey by ExecuNet shows that job hunters who keep up the search during the holiday season might get a leg up on the competition.
There are two key reasons for that:
1. Hiring managers are motivated to fill positions so they can start the year fully staffed.
2. Departments may need to close the books on their spending by December 31. If they leave a position open, they may risk losing the budget for that job.
How to Optimize Your Holiday Job Hunt
If you want to make the best of your job hunt, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Answer the phone. Hiring managers are at their desks over the holidays, but they often have a hard time scheduling interviews between Christmas and New Year’s. If other applicants are harder to reach, you can use that to your advantage by being accessible.
Small talk is no problem over the holidays. If you worry about freezing up and not having anything to say during interviews, take a tip from Rick Sears, the one of the nation’s leading career-readiness experts (who also just spoke at Salter). Sears recommends that job applicants begin the interview by asking the hiring manager questions. Not only does that allow applicants some time to collect themselves, but it also shows confidence. It’s December, so you have your choice of instant ice breakers, such as “What are you doing for the holidays?” or “Any plans for New Year’s Eve?”
Capitalize on holiday cheer. People tend to be more relaxed at work between Christmas and New Year’s as everything winds down into low gear. Target a few companies that you’d like to work for and drop off a festive holiday treat such as a box of chocolates along with your resume. Address your package to the head of human resources or the hiring manager (if you know his or her name). While you may or may not be invited back to speak to the hiring manager right away, your resume will certainly get noticed.
Smile. Sure, this holds true any time of year, but especially over the holidays. As monster.com interview expert Marky Stein says, “In one-sixteenth of a second, we assess whether someone will harm, help or hurt us. A smile immediately tells someone that you’re not going to hurt them.”
Here’s to career success in 2015!