Don't Stop Your Job Search During the Holidays
With the "Great Resignation" or the "Great Reshuffle" in the news all around, more people than ever are considering their options for work in 2022. Whether you are active or passive in your job search, working or not working, it can be tempting to take a break from the process, citing the commitment to friends and loved ones during this busy time. What you may see as a slow-down not a pause, can set you back miles in your career path. Other job seekers are slowing things down, figuring that nothing tangible will happen during the holidays.
On the contrary, many leaders are using this time to prepare their strategies for 2022, including their hiring needs. If they are not already searching for talent for their teams in the new year, they will be promptly upon their return to work. Get ahead of the competition and be the one that stands apart from the crowd to hiring managers. Here are a few ways you can shift your strategy for the holiday season.
Reconnect With Your Network
This is an absolutely perfect time to reach out to your contacts in your industry, especially if you are not sure how to start a conversation during the rest of the year. Rather than asking if a connection's company is hiring, show a genuine interest in the people in your ecosystem. This dialogue is beneficial to long-term relationships within your scope and may be helpful to your career path in ways you cannot yet predict.
"The holiday season is a perfect time of year to network your way to a new job!" - Chris Lane, Senior Director of Computer Futures.
Send a personalized message on LinkedIn, an email, or make a phone call to someone within your network with whom you have a good relationship. Offer them a holiday greeting and ask how they have been since you last talked. An authentic and insightful conversation is sure to follow.
Here are a few phrases to include and break the ice:
- I was just thinking of when we worked together on a project and wanted to wish you a great holiday season!
- What have you been up to since we last saw each other at that convention?
- The business is surely keeping you busy for the holidays.
- Are you still in the same area of town? I will be around there next week for a holiday event if you would like to get together for lunch.
- My company holiday party is next week at the place we used have happy hours when we worked together so I thought of you.
- How is your new job? I saw that you moved on from since last year.
The exchanges you have may result in finding ways you can help them, or may result in you getting in touch with someone who can help you in your job search.
Do a Job Search Audit of Your Activity
Interviews could slow down this month with so many hiring managers caught up in travel and end-of-year activities. Use the gap in the schedule to review how your job search has gone since it started. In which areas have your efforts been successful, and which have they not? Where are you getting the most interviews? How much more attention has your revised resume gotten since you redid it?
Go through your emails, applications, and conversations to identify patterns in your job search process. Collect whatever data you can and use it to consider how you can improve. It's one step toward not only obtaining an offer, but a role more conducive to your interests.
Optimize Your Job Search Toolkit
What are the most important tools in your job search toolkit? Further to your audit, apply the data and information you collected to your assets.
- Well-written resumes that gets past the ATS
- A practiced and perfected "elevator pitch"
- Polished interview skills and strategies
When preparing your resume/s, review job descriptions that closely match your qualifications for common trends or language. Rephrase your resume in places to include the phrases you see in these descriptions. It is probable that you are suited to more than one single job title. Create multiple versions of your resume with the language most appropriate to each type of role within your industry. As long as you keep the information true to your accomplishments and abilities, adjustments like these can go a long way to the right audience.
Your "elevator pitch" should be short and pertinent to the role you really want. You are summarizing your objective, so keep in mind what the asker is looking for in an answer. Many people are afraid of leaving information out that might be helpful in opening up a door. Take the information you gained from your audit and use it to reformat your pitch so that it is relevant to your best answer, but also invites further query. Practice makes perfect!
When interviewing, virtually or in-person, professionalism is key along with demonstrating your history and abilities accurately. Take stock of the interviews you have had and identify what went wrong and what went well. Ask for feedback from the interviewers if you can and use the information to improve.
Learn a New Skill
During your audit and review process, did you notice any particular skills that would have helped you get ahead? Perhaps a certification or knowledge of a system? Find an online training source that will help you fill this gap in your skillset. Even if you do not have a complete working knowledge, demonstrable familiarity and understanding will help you compete in the job market and keep you from being excluded from jobs you are qualified for. Often a certification will take more time and effort to complete, but if you start along the path now, you can tout on your resume that you are "in pursuit" of the certain certification you need.
"Saying you know a system or have a skill helps, but proving it on paper goes a lot farther to a hiring manager." - Nick Ferraro, Director of Computer Futures.
Be truthful with your interviewers about the depth of understanding with these systems and software, but do not dwell on the subject on your inexperience during your interview process.
Make an Impact on Social Media
Spend some time this holiday season improving upon your personal brand through social media. Be more present by posting, commenting, and engaging with people in your digital network. If you need a jump-start, the holidays are a perfect time to get on your platforms. A simple post offering warmest holiday wishes and hopes for a prosperous new year can make all the difference.
To learn how to maximize your LinkedIn profile, watch the recording of our Breaking the Glass program's recent webinar here.
Key Takeaways for Your Holiday Season Job Search
- Use the holiday season to get creative with your networking
- It's a common misconception that all hiring stops during the holidays
- There is more than one way to optimize your job search strategy
- For a bonus: The holidays can be stressful, don't forget to give yourself a rest when you need to.