Are you in the job market, either right now or planning to be in early 2016? Either way, your timing is perfect. December and January are both ideal months for job hunting, for different reasons.
If you’re looking for a job now, don’t stop your search for the holidays! It’s a myth that nobody hires over the holidays. Businesses still have openings. And you can bet overworked, short-staffed hiring managers aren’t taking three weeks off. Decision-makers are still in the office.
That’s not to say hiring managers aren’t distracted from their daily tasks. In December, many managers clean out their emails, organize their files, plan, and review resumes they don’t ordinarily have time to deal with. With fewer resumes rolling in, and hiring managers possibly more accessible, you may get a head start on other candidates. Yes, hiring does slow down in December, but applications slow down even more. That gives you an advantage if you don’t pause your search.
You’re not the only one thinking of making a change. Every year, a number of workers give their notice over the holidays. They’re accepting offers for new positions that start in early January. Maybe somebody just vacated your dream job, and recruiters love to fill those openings during the holidays. So what are you waiting for?
That being said, it’s true that in some companies, hiring does slow in December and speeds up in January. If you are thinking of looking for a new job for the new year, it’s time to get started right now.
Here are four things you can do over the holidays to be ahead of the pack on January 1:
- Refresh your resume. If your resume hasn’t been updated in the past year, it needs a refresh. Resumes are trending shorter and more concise, so refreshing your resume means deleting older information as well as adding recent, more relevant accomplishments. Update the font and format while you’re at it.
- Polish your social brand. Does your LinkedIn profile sparkle? Is it time to change your photo, polish your summary, or add to your profile? Take some time to write endorsements for people you respect. If you need endorsements, ask a few people who have worked with you closely. They may have more time to help you now than they will in January. Join a few groups and post comments. Take a look at your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts to be sure they’re job-search ready.
- Do your research. Spend some time shopping for your next company. Check out award-winning companies, since they are already recognized as great places to work. Are you looking for a casual, fun culture like GoDaddy; want to make a tangible difference in people’s lives like Dignity Health; or do you want a professional setting with formal career development programs like Charles Schwab?
- Start your cover letter. Write a killer intro, and a few paragraphs you can interchange and modify according to the opportunity. Cover letters can be surprisingly hard to write, especially at the last minute when everything else is ready to submit, so prepare now.
Whether you’re already searching or plan to start your search soon, December and January are ideal months for a job hunt. Your timing is perfect for finding a dream job with a top company!
About the Author
Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi
A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.