‘Tis the season… to land your next job!
At first glance the above statement might seem unrealistic… if not downright daft. After all, companies don’t do much hiring at the end of the year and most everyone appears preoccupied with gift giving, mistletoe, and parties. Yet there are a number of reasons why you should ramp up your job search efforts and take full advantage of all that December has to offer.
Here are 4 ways you can celebrate the season by being extra productive in your job search:
1. Recognize that your competition levels will plummet. The majority of jobseekers figure the holidays are a waste of time and make only marginal efforts to look for work. They opt to relax, sip their holiday cider, and gear back up in January. But their big mistake becomes your big advantage because opportunities for socializing and networking abound. With your job search goals in mind, you’ll be positioned to make a huge impact while your competition is taking a long winter’s nap.
2. January and February represent the strongest hiring period of the year. New projects, initiatives, and budgets are put into place and hiring generally takes off after the first of the year. Although not every January can promise a boom in the marketplace, by actively networking and positioning yourself as a valuable and enthusiastic candidate you’ll be well on your way to getting that all important call for an interview in early 2013.
3. There’s no better time of year to schmooze. Parties, gatherings, and community events are prime opportunities to press the flesh and tell your story. Resist the temptation, however, to deliver a rehearsed elevator speech unless you’re attending a formal industry event where such introductions would be commonplace. Even then, be certain to judge the mood of the merrymakers before you come across as too stiff or businesslike.
Usually in such circumstances, a lighter touch is best. When asked what you do, you might reply with an engaging one-liner that piques your listener’s interest. For example — one candidate I worked with was a buyer and replied: “I shop with other people’s money.” A similar attention-grabbing one-liner from you will get them asking for more, and then you can deliver a lengthier description of your skills and experience.