Though the holidays doesn’t seem like it would be a great time to rev up your job search, December is actually a great time to apply for jobs. At the end of the year, companies sometimes find room in the budget they didn’t think would be there. People also tend to leave at the end of the year after they have finally received their bonuses so there may be quite a few openings. People taking time off for the holidays may even offer the opportunity for you to work on temporary projects, which could lead to a more permanent position.
“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 as companies clamor 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, a Manhattan-based executive search firm.
Here are some tips to keep up your job search during the holidays.
Network, network, network
There are more parties in general this time of the year and they all provide ample time for making new contacts. Even if you don’t think your friend of a friend’s party seems like it would be a good place to find contacts, you may be surprised. “Be professional yet social at all times,” says Harris.
People also have more time off in general so they may have time to meet for a coffee or drink.
Company holiday parties offer opportunities
According to Harris, 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.
Use the down time productively
Most people tend to have time off during the holidays so use that to your advantage. Harris says spend time on job boards and update your online brand by refreshing your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles.
Network on social media
Be sure to keep up with your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter contacts frequently during the holidays. “It’s the perfect time to build relationships and keep in touch,” says Harris.
“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.