My colleague Erica Francis at ReadyJob.org offers excellent advice for your holiday job search. She specializes in helping entry-level job seekers land their first jobs and make progress in their early careers. However, erroneous beliefs about holiday job searches cross all industries and career levels. If you are looking for a job, this information is for you.
By Erica Francis
Workwrite Guest Writer
On the search for a job this holiday season? You may be surprised to learn that the holidays are one of the best times for gaining employment because applicants tend to back off on their searches until the new year is underway. Companies also like to hit the ground running when January 1 rolls around so often, they’ll spend the end of the year filling vacancies. To be fully prepared for getting hired this holiday season, you should equip yourself with this job search checklist.
- Research holiday networking opportunities and attend events
The holidays are a busy time for several reasons, and they tend to get busier as companies, organizations, and professional associations hold holiday networking events. From open houses to soirees, networking events abound all over the country. That’s why you should research events in your area in which you would like to be employed and attend as many as possible. Network with friends, colleagues, and potential employers during the holiday season and be prepared to hand out business cards while you make the rounds.
It’s also a good idea to take advantage of the holidays by reaching out to former friends and employers who may be able to assist you in landing a new job. One suggestion is to send out Christmas cards that contain your business card. Or, you could visit former offices with a small gift to reconnect with previous colleagues and supervisors. Don’t be overly pushy, but don’t be afraid to use your connections to land your next position, either.
- Beef up your resume
Updating and rounding out your resume to highlight your relevant experience are important steps in a holiday job search. Resumes may have a different look and feel to them now than when you first wrote yours, so be sure to research current resume formats and types and craft yours in the style that is most appropriate to your situation. It’s also a good idea to tailor your resume to the position for which you apply, so choose your target position carefully.
- Create or update a LinkedIn profile
Along the same lines, a LinkedIn profile is something you need to create or update in order to prepare for your holiday job search. Don’t think that LinkedIn will automatically make the job offers start pouring in, however. As Forbes contributor Liz Ryan points out, LinkedIn is more useful as a networking tool in your holiday job search, as you search the companies you’re interested in working for. See which of your connections have ties to those companies. Then, take advantage of those connections and work to make your own connections with the companies.
- Explore various career options
If you’ve been searching for a job for some time but cannot find anything that interests you, the holidays may be a good time to explore various career options. Perhaps you could reach out to your alumni office or local career center and set up interviews to learn about different careers and which occupations match your current skills and experience.
Another option is to consider working from home. Bankrate lists 10 work-from-home careers that are perfect for people who are self motivated, disciplined, and independent: virtual assistant, medical transcriptionist, translator, web developer/designer, call center representative, tech support specialist, travel agent, teacher, writer/editor, and franchise owner. Most of these work-from-home career options hire year round, and people gain flexibility and often increase job satisfaction when they work from home.
- Consider part-time positions with the potential for becoming long-term positions
If you think you would like to work for a company but are not sure you’re ready to commit to a long-term position, consider part-time positions in your holiday job search. Part-time positions typically are more numerous during the holiday season, and they offer employees a chance to experience the work environment and culture. It is becoming much more common for professionals to test the waters in a part-time position and then work to transition into a long-term position if they find the company is a good fit for them.
Prepare yourself for your holiday job search with this checklist to improve your chance of landing a position. What better way to start the new year than with a new job!
Erica Francis enjoys being a part of ReadyJob.org because it gives her the opportunity to help adolescents and teens get started in the job market. When she isn’t writing and working with young people, she rides horses, crochets, and acts at her town’s community theater.
Image courtesy stockimages via freedigitalphotos.net