It may sound like an okay thing to do, and you may need a break, but don’t assume that nothing is happening in the job search landscape during December, or that there’s not much you can do to accelerate your search right now.
Understand that job seekers need to be active in November and December to be January hires. December hires needed to be actively searching in October and November. And recruiters are working now to identify candidates for January.
Take advantage of the fact that there’s less competition right now – so many others will put their job search on hold until the first of the year. Fewer executive candidates are jockeying to position themselves in front of hiring decision makers and vying for their attention. Your network and new contacts are probably not overwhelmed by requests right now, and you have the opportunity to make inroads.
On one of the LinkedIn Group I belong to – comprised of top careers industry professionals – the manager posed this question recently:
Most unemployed people give up seeking jobs/opportunities between Thanksgiving and New Years. What advice would you give to job seekers this holiday season?
Members’ responses included plenty of good advice:
- Volunteer your time at organizations that need your expertise, and practice give-to-get networking – you may be able to connect with people who can give you some solid leads.
- Reevaluate and rework your career/job search goals.
- Seek out new contacts.
- Touch base with your existing network. Thank them for leads and the help they’ve provided. Share season’s greetings. Send out hand-addressed holiday cards with meaningful hand-written messages.
- Take time to “hide out” and reflect, but don’t give up on job search entirely.
- Attend formal and informal networking events, like holiday parties.
- Attend job search workshops at your local Career Center.
- Refine your networking skills. Need help with networking? See my post, How to Build a Powerful Executive Network.
- Always carry business cards that include contact information, your title, your brief brand tagline or ROI value promise and your personal website address, LinkedIn URL, Google Profile URL or VisualCV URL.
My friend and colleague, John Suarez, summed it up so well in his response:
“Let’s think about this…the social calendar gets heavily booked. That means more opportunities to talk to more people in socially driven settings about a targeted and self-directed job search. Sounds like a networker’s paradise. Put your santa hat on and consume as many conversational calories as you can.”
Keep busy with that list of suggestions, but also take the time to:
→ Update your resume, LinkedIn profile and other career marketing communications. Look back at the past year and make notes on contributions and achievements, new skill sets, professional development, career advancements, etc.
→ Explore LinkedIn – learn how much it can do for you and get more involved. If you slapped up a perfunctory profile months or years ago and forgot about it, go back and make your profile 100% complete, keyword-rich, and branded. Join relevant LinkedIn Groups, participate in LinkedIn Answers, follow companies on LinkedIn, etc.
More LinkedIn info in these posts:
→ Research your target list of employers. Identify the biggest challenges facing them right now that you are uniquely qualified to help them overcome. Use this information to drive your resume and LinkedIn profile writing strategy. Get resume writing help with my post, How to Write An Irresistible C-level Executive Brand Resume in 10 Steps.
A compilation of some of my best blog posts on executive job search, branding and online reputation management, Executive Branding and the New Rules of C-level Job Search.