It’s that time of year when seasons begin to change, and a lot of people start pondering their jobs: “Is my current role a good fit for me?” “Is it time to search for something new?” Regardless of your employment status or what you’re considering for your next career move, here are a few things you should you know applying for jobs this season.
Keep in Mind that Hiring Patterns are Industry Specific
Generally, hiring will slow down during the holidays, however keep in mind that industries vary based on their peak season. For example, January through April is peak season for tax and accounting professionals, so a lot of firms want to hire employees before the end of the year so they can onboard and train them before busy season starts.
Retail companies also hire a lot of employees during the holiday time. (Target is expected hire 120,000 workers this holiday season, up 20% from 2017.) Most of the time these are seasonal roles, but you can use this to your benefit. While retail might not be part of your career goals, if you’re strapped for cash, taking on a seasonal role can be a great way to make some extra money while still maintaining a career focused job search.
Research your target industry and approach potential employers accordingly. Industries who thrive in the new year (i.e. health, wellness, nutrition, etc.) will likely hire employees during holiday months to prepare for the January boom. Additionally, if an employee is planning to make a career move, it’s possible that they will leave one company before the holidays and negotiate the start date for their new role in the new year to gain some needed rest. If this is the case, there will be an opening during the holiday season that the company will likely want to fill. This could be your opportunity to land a job quickly.
Continue Applying for Jobs Through the “Slow” Period
“Don't stop applying between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Since many job seekers take this time off, assuming that no one is hiring, you'll likely be in a smaller pool of candidates and can more easily stand out,” says career coach, Alyson Garrido.
Many job seekers simply take the holidays off because they don’t think it’s worth it, so use this to your advantage. If others are being lazy about their job search, use that to motivate you. Employers will likely notice and appreciate your drive, which will work in your favor.
Be Mindful of the Time of Year
Yes, you should absolutely keep applying to jobs throughout the holiday season, but be mindful that the holidays are a time to spend with the people you love. Don’t expect to hear back from anyone on actual holidays, and keep in mind that most offices are closed the day after thanksgiving and potentially Christmas Eve/the day after Christmas. Don’t send email after email asking for a response. Applying to jobs during November and December is one thing, but pestering a potential employer or industry contact about a job opportunity is something different.
Spread Holiday Cheer
When it comes to networking, sending a holiday message is a great way to connect with others without having to immediately reach out to discuss employment opportunities. Alyson Garrido goes on to say, “Send year-end notes wishing your contacts a joyous holiday season or happy new year. It's an easy way to keep in touch and stay on your contacts' radar without asking scheduling a coffee or asking a question. Simple, personalized notes make a lasting impression.”
When it comes to applying for jobs during the holidays, it’s important to do your research, keep applying, and reach out to your connections to help you get your foot in the door.
By: Michele Lando
A native San Franciscan, Michele Lando is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and founder of writestylesonline.com. She has a passion for helping others present the best version of themselves, both on paper and in person, and works to polish individuals' application package and personal style. Aiming to help create a perfect personal branding package, Write Styles presents tips to enhance your resume, style, and boost your confidence.