Why You Should Keep Your Job Search Active in December

You’ve probably heard that companies slow down their recruiting over the holidays. While this is true at some companies, it doesn’t mean you should lose focus on finding your next great gig.  December offers unique opportunities to keep your job search going, hone your pitch and get ready for the recruiting frenzy that starts in January.

Here’s why:

Hiring Still Happens

“Some departments want to get in their new hires before the New Year,” says career coach Christy Robb. If you see a job you really like, don’t hesitate to apply, but understand that December can be troublesome for scheduling interviews with hiring managers.

“Employees tend to use their vacation time during December,” says Avni Shah, lead recruiter for Simply Hired. “Large companies can sometimes have a week shutdown period, so it makes it ideal for employees to double up on their vacation plans.”

With so many people out of the office, be patient if you don’t get many responses during December. “Every company, industry, and opportunity is different,” said Robb.

Ample Networking Opportunities

The flurry of social activity in December affords many once-a-year opportunities for networking. Family events and cocktail parties offer you a chance meet new people and practice your elevator pitch.

“Like investing in the stock market, networking is a long-term activity,” said career development expert Robert Dilenschneider. The networking you do in December could very well pay off at the beginning of the year.

There is no shame in letting everyone know you are looking for a job. You can ask for advice if you are unclear about your direction, or you can talk to people about what they do for work in order to increase your knowledge of different careers. Remember that networking is not just about you. It’s about learning what other companies and people are doing so that you have a better understanding of how you fit in.

Time to Hone Your Job Search Skills

Have you lost focus on your job search, or have you been putting in the necessary time researching opportunities, practicing interview questions and completing applications? December is a good time to take the opportunity to evaluate what’s been working in helping you to get interviews, as well as what hasn’t. In the holiday downtime, ask a relative or friend to look at your resume or give you a mock interview.

In January, when many new jobs are advertised and hiring activity picks up, you’ll be ready. “Jobseekers who make contact right at the start of January and February have the best chances to get hired,” said Shah.

“The important thing,” said Robb, “is to not get lost in trying to predict others’ actions and thoughts. Plow forward as you always have, including during the holidays.” And even more importantly, don’t forget to give yourself a break and count all the blessings of your friends, family and the abundance of delicious food.