If you’re thinking of closing down your job search and giving it a rest for the lazy, crazy weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, think twice. Your friends and job hunting peers may decide to put down their resumes and pick up their cocktail glasses during this time, but if you follow their lead, you’ll actually miss out on the most profitable job search month of the entire year. In fact, according to a CNN survey of professional recruiters, more than 69 percent of respondents cited December as the month in which they make the highest number of successful job placements. There are several reasons why this tends to happen, but the take-home message is clear: if you maintain your search momentum during the holidays, you’ll be stepping into your new job while your peers and competitors are still scrolling through job boards in January. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Turnover spikes at this time.
At the end of the year, performance evaluations, bonus decisions, promotions, and retirement announcements lead to big staffing shake-ups in most workplaces. A sudden uptick in vacancies will typically mean a scramble to fill these positions before the sleepy holiday season winds down. Human resource (HR) pros typically want to leave the office with hires made so they enjoy their vacations just like everybody else, but far too often (especially if you ask them), they can’t.
Overtaxed HR pros can mean fast vetting routines.
Put yourself in the position of a staffing manager working long hours during the final weeks of December. Would you be slamming the door on qualified candidates just because of one little resume typo or one missing element of experience? Probably not. Vetting restrictions and background checks are more relaxed during this time, and studies show that workplace attitudes are more lenient, friendly, and charitable than they are at any other time during the year.
A quiet office means faster response times.
Employers and managers are fielding fewer calls from clients, vendors, partners, and employees during this time, which means they’re likely to have more time for you. Expect a faster rate of return on your emails and phone messages, and take advantage of this by holding up your end and doing everything you can to move the dialogue forward.
Competition thins out.
The most important reason to keep the pressure on during the holidays is simple: your competitors aren’t. While they spend the day decorating, eating, drinking, shopping and relaxing with family and friends, you will be too. But you’ll also be setting aside an hour or two to return calls, submit resumes, and attend interviews. Don’t worry; you won’t be missing out on any fun events. But you will be advancing your career and moving closer to your new job, one small task at a time. — Don’t let the holidays derail your job search goals! Visit MyPerfectResume for tools and tips that can help you step into your new job during the new year.