Looking for a Job This Holiday Season?

Three ways to make the most of your end-of-year job search.

Posted Dec 05, 2018

Job-hunting during the holidays can be particularly frustrating. There are many reasons why employers tend to be less likely to engage with applicants at the end of the year. As an employee, do you tend to feel “checked out” in December? Employers know this and some operations will coast through the month without making major decisions. Retailers, suppliers, and logistics companies are naturally focusing on sales, shipping, and customer service. Then, of course, comes end of year inventories and accounting. It’s the busy season for accountants and auditors. Factor in company holiday parties and the inevitable employee distractions of cyber shopping when the boss isn’t looking—it becomes clear that sitting behind a desk shuffling through resumes is not a top priority. 

So if you happen to be looking for work at the end of the year, be patient and don’t give up. The job market will spring back to life in the new year but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great opportunities in the meantime.

3 Ways The Holidays Can Help Your Job Search

1. Be A Holiday Hero

I encourage my end-of-year job seekers to check Craigslist and local job boards regularly in December for hero hiring opportunities. Let’s say it’s the first week of December—a critically important time of year for Acme & Things Inc.—and one of their essential personnel quits his job. He wants to spend Christmas with his family in Hawaii and runs out the door shouting “Mele Kalikimaka, suckers!” It’s a crisis for the executive team so they post a help wanted ad with little faith they’ll find a qualified candidate on short notice. Enter you, the hero. You empathize with their problem and assure them you can step in immediately to steer the ship. They were desperate. You were available. And it will be a very Merry Christmas for all!

2. Deck The Halls With Resumes and Cover Letters

If you’re going to be sitting around bored with family this December anyway, I suggest picking the smartest person in the room (before she hits the egg nog) and ask her to read your resume. I can’t tell you how many people say to me, “I’m a great resume writer/editor. All of my friends say so,” and then proceed to send me a resume full of grammar mistakes. Please, make my days merry and bright by having someone review your resume. Ask someone who has recently landed a great job with her great resume—she’s doing something right.

3. Start Making Excuses

Yes, the holidays are an excuse to eat and shop. But they also make the perfect excuse to follow up with an employer after you’ve submitted your resume. After New Year’s has worn off, reach out to employers on LinkedIn. A quick note to say that you submitted your resume during the busy holiday season and are checking to see if they’re still actively filling the position. This might just bring your resume to the top of the proverbial stack and open the line of communication to schedule an interview.