Should I stop my job search for the holidays?

  | James Innes

Many people believe that the Christmas holiday season is a time to stop your job search, because “no one hires in December”. They are wrong, Taking the month off or pausing your job search may mean you miss out on some great job opportunities.

It is important to understand how organisations work. Many companies will be completing their annual budget cycles in December, finalising how much they can spend on new hires in 2017. In some cases, these budgets will be released to departments before Christmas so they can begin the hiring process – and get new people in place by the start of January. Other employers may still have some 2016 hiring budget left and will be under pressure to “use it or lose it” by the end of December. So don’t assume nobody is hiring.

Because many people assume companies are not hiring, there are less people actively looking for jobs at this time of year. This means there is less competition. That improves the odds for those who are out there looking, especially with employers that are looking to bring in new hires by the New Year.

The holiday period is a great opportunity for networking. Holiday parties and social events allow you to speak with recruiters and key contact when people are more relaxed and in a good mood. People will be more open and ready to listen to you at this time of year, so relationship building now is important – it will stand you in good stead later.

Start the New Year early! Don’t wait until January before sending cold emails, CVs or job solicitations. Send them to potential employers in the first two weeks of December and follow-up with a phone call in the first few days of next month.

Finally, if you are going to have fun over Christmas, think twice before posting outrageous holiday pictures on social media. Potential employers these days will vet candidate’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, so remember who might be watching when you post content.

Do keep your job search going over Christmas. People are still hiring and, even if they are not, by remaining active you will be in a strong position once the New Year recruitment cycle gets going again.

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