One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is to stop looking for work over the holidays. Once Thanksgiving rolls around, our priorities shift. We decide companies aren’t hiring anyway, and we move on to other things. We begin to focus on putting up decorations and buying gifts.
Unfortunately, this routine can put you at a disadvantage when January comes. Although the hiring process over the holidays may be slower, it doesn’t stop. New jobs are posted every day. When you stop looking, you have no idea what new jobs are available. You’ll be missing out and won’t even know it.
Besides, the hiring process is just that – a process. At many organizations, you’ll find that the time between you first apply for a job and are presented with an offer can been weeks or months. It’s not uncommon for a non-profit to take three months or more to make a decision.
By exiting your job search during the holidays, you’re losing sight of your goal to find a job. When the New Year arrives, you’ll be at least a month or more behind your competitors.
The good news is that keeping up your search over the holidays doesn’t take a lot of time. Set a few simple goals and you’ll be on your way. It shouldn’t take more than a few hours a week. This isn’t a lot of time, especially if getting a job is a priority for you. Spend a few minutes each night or few hours on the weekends.
First, ensure your resume is up to date. Ask a few friends to review it. You want to be sure they understand it, and that there are no typos. I often recommend asking someone to review your resume who works in a different career field than you do. That way, if you’re using confusing language, such as industry specific abbreviations, they’ll let you know.
Once your resume passes the test, move on to updating your LinkedIn profile. Use your resume as the foundation for your LinkedIn profile, and then build on it. Add your photo. Pick one that’s recent, clearly you, and doesn’t contain other people. Add your volunteer experience and any awards and publications. Ask previous bosses and coworkers to write recommendations of your work. These are a great way to showcase the positive things others have to say about you.
Then, when you’re at holiday parties over the next month, if someone wants to connect on LinkedIn or asks for a copy of your resume, you’ll be prepared. And, be sure to always bring your business cards. If you don’t have any, getting them is simple. There are many websites like Moo.com that allow you to design and order online.
Finding your dream job during the December holidays isn’t a sure bet. But, being prepared ensures that if something does arise, you’re ready to defeat the competition at a moment’s notice. You’ll also be prepared to interview in 2017 when job postings and interviews heat up.
Author: Angela Copeland
Angela Copeland is Founder and Coach for Copeland Coaching, a great way to jump start your job search. Follow her on Twitter @CopelandCoach for tips on finding the perfect job for you.