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How to Accelerate Your Job Search during the Holiday Season?

December 11, 2015

Most people’s thoughts turn to holiday shopping, parties, year-end bonuses, and visiting with family and friends during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. However, experts at Manhattan-based executive search firm Harris Allied believe these weeks can prove to be a boon for job seekers for a variety of reasons.

“While most people are thinking about other things besides work during the holidays, the fourth quarter has consistently shown to be a busy time for recruiters with companies clamouring to get their open positions filled by the end of the year. The pressure to ‘use it or lose it’ really changes the game for job seekers,” says Kathy Harris, Managing Director of Harris Allied.

“In addition, job seekers may find their networking contacts more receptive to discuss new opportunities because people are generally in a friendly, more social mood during this time of the year. Lastly, there may be less competition among job seekers for positions, as many employees are holding on until they get their year-end bonus check before they embark on their job search in the first quarter of the New Year.”

Here are some suggestions for job seekers to make most of the opportunities that the holiday season brings:

Network all you can: The holidays are a great time to get in touch with former colleagues, employers and peers to do some networking. People’s schedules may be more relaxed and getting together to celebrate the holidays is a nice way to reconnect.

Company holiday parties offer opportunities: Company holiday parties are an ideal way to talk with people within your own organization that you don’t interact with on a regular basis. Make your interactions brief and leave a positive impression with those for whom you might like to work or whose department you’d like to join.

See: How to Balance Workload during the Holiday Season?

Network at holiday social events: Do not look at the neighbourhood cocktail party like a job fair, but it’s perfectly acceptable to try to meet people who might serve as a good new networking contact. Be professional yet social at all times.

Maintain Decorum: As with any opportunity to network, keep alcohol consumption in check and do not engage in gossiping. Even though holiday parties are social events, you need to maintain a professional demeanour at all times, even after-hours. This is true whether you are looking for a new job or not.

Use the down time: Make most of this off season to do some research about open positions and companies that you’re interested in. Spend time on the job boards and LinkedIn and keep your eyes and ears open at all times for new opportunities. Update your online brand by refreshing your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, and remember to connect with all of your new contacts on LinkedIn.

Holiday Networking includes Social Media: Make sure to connect with your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter contacts frequently during the holidays. It’s the perfect time to build relationships and keep in touch.

“Every touch-point makes a difference, so network all you can during the holiday period and be open to changing jobs when fewer people are actively looking for that next great job,” says Harris.

Also read: 5 Ways to Be Unique and Differentiate Yourself in Your Job Search

Image credit: usnews.com

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