Busting holiday season job search myths
The holiday period can even provide some marked advantages for the focused and pro-active job seeker.
Many job seekers put their job search on hold or slow it down during the holiday season. However, career coaches and recruiters claim they can be just as busy in the run up to the holidays and into January. A recruitment myth is that hiring stops during the holiday season, but for many recruitment and hiring managers it’s business as usual. Job seekers who stay active for holiday season job search, find that they actually may have a greater chance as their fellow job seekers (competitors) reduce their efforts.
#1 EVERYONE IS OFF
No they are not! As we live in increasingly diverse communities we should be aware of cultures and countries which follow other holidays and may be working completely normally. Some employees with different cultural backgrounds do not observe Christmas, and prefer to take time off at alternative times of the year. Increasingly employees also ask to take time off at non-peak times when it’s easier and cheaper to travel, especially those without children. So it’s no longer an across the board assumption that everyone will be off work.
#2 BUDGETS ARE SPENT
Nope not always! Many companies may find they have budget to use up before the year-end and redouble their efforts to hire people in the last months of the financial year to avoid losing their financial allocation or getting their budgets cut next year.
#3 NEXT YEAR’S PLAN IS MADE IN JANUARY
Wrong again. Frequently the hiring plan and budget approval for the next financial year is established in Q4 of the current year. Jacqui Poindexter, Master Executive Resume writer suggests:
“Submitting your resume during this time will certainly gain you better pole position to replace those who may be at the end of their race. Why wait until after the first of the year, when management is making those decisions now?”
#4 NO ONE WILL CONTACT ME
Well they might! A number of people prefer to work around the holidays because it can be a quieter time to catch up on work. Many potential candidates are out of the office if they are employed and are easier to reach by phone or email.
If you are an active job seeker Dorothy Dalton, Executive Search Consultant and Career Coach says:
“Stay connected. Make sure you check your mail and voice messages regularly even if you do enter into the Christmas spirit. I have been asked by hiring managers to contact candidates during this period. Last year one candidate left our call to take the mince pies out of the oven. Head hunters are understanding at this time of the year. “
#5 IT’S TOO LATE TO VOLUNTEER
No it isn’t. Charities are always looking for volunteers during this busy time, regardless of how much experience you have. Tweet Volunteering can provide excellent networking opportunities even in unskilled work. People get sick and requirements change. It’s great to add your experiences to your resume if you are unemployed.
#6 SEASONAL POSITIONS ARE ALREADY FILLED
Not necessarily! An increasing number of organizations have hiring spikes for the seasonal period. Amazon reportedly hired 120000 holiday workers this year. These roles can be in call centers, customer service, logistics, events, retail, hospitality and be full and part-time. It’s always worth checking out even at the last-minute. Your holiday season job search can also be used from shifting from a temp to perm role. One contact was hired only last week as a personal shopper for a retail chain.
#7 I CAN’T PITCH AT A PARTY
No you can’t! You are partly right. Have your soft pitch down with your “why” foremost in your mind and business cards in your clutch bag. Avoid being brash and pushy. There are always a huge number of events in the holiday calendar. Use these opportunities wisely to network with empathy and appropriate to the situation.
Susan P Joyce, Jobhunts Online Job Expert amplifies:
“When or if you’re asked, mention your interest in finding a new job, saying specifically what kind of work you want and name two or three target employers or target industries.”
#8 NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR FROM ME
Of course they do! That is your Chief Doubting Officer speaking. Clear your head of negative thinking. What better time to keep in touch with your network than the holiday season. Send out a secular card with Season’s or New Year greetings. Add a business card if it’s an old school card sent my snail mail which should include your LinkedIn url. This serves to differentiate you from the rest of the crowd and personalises the relationship. A gracious hand written card with a sincere message can make a big difference.
# 9 I CAN’T STAY FOCUSED – USE THE KISS PLEDGE FORMAT
With the seasonal round of parties, family meals and cocktails it can be hard to stay focused. Use the KISS Pledge formula (it has nothing to do with mistletoe) but a good way of committing to doing one thing every day to ensure that your holiday season job search stays on track. It could be sending out a daily LinkedIn update, looking for new opportunities or reaching out to networking contacts. Write out your daily goal on a KISS Pledge note and stick somewhere you can see it. Make sure you can achieve that goal and follow through.