This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.
The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but for many people, it’s also the busiest.
If you happen to be searching for a job during the holidays, you may think that means the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day are a perfect time to take a break from your job search. But in reality, the opposite may be the case.
For a variety of reasons, this could be the perfect time to ramp up your job-seeking efforts. Here are some good reasons to think about job searching during the holidays.
1. Companies Are Hiring
It might seem like businesses are focused on things other than recruiting right now, but take a quick look at our new job postings, and you’ll realize that’s not the case. In fact, many companies are extremely active in the job market during the holidays, as they’re looking to fill open positions so they can start the new year at full strength.
With most year-end budgets closed out and next year’s budgets set, many companies know exactly how much they can afford to pay new hires, and they know where to fill in staffing gaps left throughout the past year as well.
2. There’s Less Competition
If others with your skills and training decide to temporarily shelve their job searches during the holidays, that could clear the path for you. With fewer competing resumes, yours will more easily rise to the top.
3. You Have More Free Time
If you’re like many people, you enjoy taking some extra PTO during the holidays. And while you’ll likely be spending some of that time relaxing with family, you can also make your days off productive by setting aside blocks of time to look for jobs. Although it might not seem like the most festive way to spend your holidays, a brand new job will be a wonderful holiday gift to yourself!
How to Job Search During the Holidays
Now that you know why it’s important to keep job searching during the holidays, you can come up with the perfect holiday job search plan. Here are some tips!
Connect With Your Network
Even people who don’t like the schmoozing aspects of looking for work are bound to end up trading holiday wishes with others this season — whether via virtual holiday parties, social media, or regular old phone calls. Don’t dwell on your holiday job search while enjoying connecting with your network, but also don’t be afraid to talk about your situation to friends, acquaintances, and industry colleagues. You might just make a connection with someone who can help you land your dream job in the new year.
Keep the Momentum Going
You’ve likely developed some productive job-seeking routines during the last few months, and it’s wise to keep on moving. If you slow down or stop your job search, it might be tough to get back into the swing of things when you’re ready to ramp up again. By pressing forward with job searching during the holidays, you’ll keep your momentum going and won’t miss a beat come January.
Consider Going Seasonal
If you’re searching for a job but can’t find anything long-term, look for a temporary gig at a company you love, and it could give you the upper hand in landing a permanent position there.
While some companies that hire for seasonal and holiday jobs only need temporary help, many decide to permanently hire their seasonal workers when the holidays are over.
Need a Break? Focus on Getting Organized
Job searching during the holidays won’t be for everyone. Maybe you’re just simply too busy, you want to prioritize quality time with family, or it’s not absolutely necessary to get a job at the moment.
Whatever the case, if you want to take a break from actually looking for jobs, you can still spend time on other areas of your job search to put you in an excellent position to pick it back up when you’re ready.
You’ve likely got copies of your cover letters saved everywhere and dates and reminders in notebooks. Consider using the holidays to get these things in order. Having an organized job search can help you keep track of everything and avoid any mistakes — like accidentally following up with the same recruiter twice in the same week.
Spreadsheets can be your saving grace, allowing you to note every job you’ve applied for, any correspondence or interviews you’ve had, and contact info needed. Try organizing your computer documents into folders as well for easy updating and emailing.
Update Your Documents
Speaking of documents, in lieu of searching for jobs, now is a great time to update your resume and cover letters. Have any new tasks or skills you can add to your resume? Have you always wanted to reword a section of your cover letter? Now is the time to get in there and tweak everything to perfection.
Overhaul Your Personal Brand
Do you have a personal brand? Otherwise known as your career image or reputation, having a cohesive personal brand during a job search will help position you as a top candidate. If your expertise is in nonprofit marketing, how do your social media profiles and your resume and cover letter convey this?
Are you on Twitter interacting with other marketers and sharing related articles to your industry? Do you have a personal website that defines your passion and mission? Get these details sorted out and create a consistent brand to help expedite your job search in the new year.
‘Tis the season to give back! Volunteer opportunities are plentiful during the holidays as organizations of all stripes need people to help out. And while it’s better to give than to receive, you will be able to put your volunteer work on your resume, which is a huge bonus when your volunteer work gives you valuable skills and experience. Once you’re back to job searching, you’ll have an improved resume to help you land a job.
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