The holidays could actually be a great time of year to find a job
With the holidays looming, many job seekers are wondering whether they should be continuing their search through the end of December or wrapping things up until next year. A lot of people will probably tell you it’s a waste of time to keep looking. Are they right?
It’s true that many hiring managers are away and will put off hiring into the new year. They have checked out, they’re focused on shopping, food, and family time. They’re not in the office between Christmas and New Year’s, and by the time they get back your email will be lost. This can add to job search frustration caused by sending out resume after resume only to be greeted with silence.
That being said, you should absolutely keep looking.
Paul McDonald, senior executive director at staffing company Robert Half International, tells Fox Business that while some hiring does slow down, “there is a fair amount of hiring now and through the end of the year.”
Fox also reports that there is no better time for skilled workers to find job openings: “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4.7 million open positions at the end of September.” (Numbers are U.S. based but we are always told markets are largely comparable.
Here are some more reasons why now is a great time to find a job:
Companies do hire in December. There’s no specific time of year when companies don’t need to hire people to do jobs. In fact, Susan P. Joyce writes on the Huffington Post that more people are actually hired in November and December than in January. In fact, 40,000 more people were hired in the U.S. in December 2013 than in January 2014 (we don’t have Canadian data but it’s often comparable).
Organizations often want to start the new year ready to hit the ground running, which means they want to have their staff in place.
I was hired at Workopolis over the holidays, by the way.
There is less competition at this time of year. Most people do think there’s no point in looking, and will stop looking. If you keep sending out applications, and you just happen to hit the right manager and position, there’s a good chance you will rise to the top out of sheer default. Come January, everyone will be ramping up their search and the competition will be much more fierce. Get in now if you can.
Amanda Augustine, the job search expert at TheLadders.com told Fix Business, “The holidays can also work in your favor – since many professionals decide to take time off around the holidays, your job applications will typically face less competition,” she says.
This is the time to tap into that hidden job market. I’m a firm advocate of cold contacting companies you want to work for even when they have no jobs posted – especially when they have no jobs posted. If you reach out to someone when they’re not looking, you’re far less likely to get lost in a pile of other applications. And, even if they have nothing for you right then, they might appreciate your initiative and keep you in mind in the future. I’ve gotten every single job in my career this way.
People leave their jobs this time of year. People have made resolutions that might include grand, sweeping life changes, from job switches to all-out career overhauls. So, jobs will be coming up. Also, they quit after they get their end of year bonuses. This is according to Miriam Saltpeter, who writes on AOL.com that many companies give out bonuses at this time of year, and some folks are just waiting for the cheques to clear before quitting. So, those positions will need to be filled.
You’ll keep yourself fresh. If you keep going, you won’t lose your momentum. Keep your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn updated and continue to send them out.
If you don’t hear back from people during your holiday search, assume they didn’t see your application, and resubmit it in January with a note saying you’re just following up. If you don’t slow down, you’ll already be ramped up and running into January without having to hit restart.