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Chronicle

Less Santa, more Searching - Keep your job search alive and kicking over Christmas

Posted: 23 December 2015

Yep, it's almost that time of year again. The mulled wine starts to flow, the mince pies come out in mass and those cold winter nights creep in. With so much distraction and temptation around, it can be tough to keep your job search on track. Of course you deserve some time off but staying true to your job search routine is still super important.

It’s a common misconception that the job market slows down around the festive season. In fact, with budgets to be spent it can be a hot ticket time to get in there while your fellow job seekers are otherwise engaged. Pledge to get ahead of the game this Christmas and make sure your job search efforts don’t derail. Need more convincing? Here’s just a few good reasons and ways to keep your search alive during the holiday season.

Reasons to rev up your search over Christmas (and how to focus over the festivities).

  • New year, new start.

Employers, current employees, businesses and candidates all long for a fresh start every New Year. We all want to come back from Christmas with a renewed drive and urge to get things done. Now is the perfect time to spy and survey - how are your dream companies behaving around xmas? Are there any employees there that seem restless? What are their competitors up to, is there a way you can market yourself to fill that gap? New year is when many employees leave their jobs as they want to kick start their career again so have your resume and details ready to go incase any last minute positions open up in panic.

  • Less competition making the rounds.

It isn’t rocket science - the less job seekers there are being active, the more chance there is that you can nab an opportunity. Many seekers wind down over xmas so try and stay on the ball and pick up the opps that would otherwise too tough to get to first. Be clever and creative in how you plan to rev things up. Why not send some personalised festive fun to your top dream employers? Use this time to start a blog, folks spend a lot of time over xmas chilling and reading so give them something to peruse. Use what you can to greater impact, lead the pack!

  • Businesses are setting new standards & goals.

Out with the old, in with the new. This is the time when businesses kick start the year with new goals and ideas. You can’t afford to be left behind so amp up that research. Stay updated on what these new goals and business objectives are. Mention them in any correspondence with details of exactly how you can help them meet them. Businesses come back from their xmas break with a new focus and will be looking for folk that have done their research and can keep them moving towards where they want to be.

  • Christmas is bursting with networking opps.

We all love a Christmas party. More than just a chance to ‘be merry’, these are great networking opps so try and find ways to get your networking on. If you’re already employed but are looking for a change, why not try and bag an invite to a party where you can meet possible new contacts and sell yourself? Use LinkedIn to see what possible connections you could utilise. And if that’s not necessarily a go-er why not create your own Christmas party for fellow seekers where you can share experiences and expand your contact list.

  • Keep momentum moving.

We all find it tough to get going again post-Christmas. This can be even more difficult for job seekers. Keeping your search moving over xmas can help avoid that lull or catch up complex you can have in January. Plan out your search activities in advance so you leave choice out of the equation. Create a Dec/Jan schedule that outlines what you need to do everyday, it will keep you focused and make it easier for you to see the big picture goal.

  • Tap into stale contact list.

It can be tricky to find relevant, engaging reasons to renew connections and reach out to contacts. Christmas gives you the perfect excuse to fire over an email, send a card etc. A simple ‘Merry Christmas, let’s meet up for a coffee in the New Year’ can open up the lines of communication in a personal way. Try not to be generic in your greetings or invite, folk can smell an auto-message a mile off. Refer to something specific and follow up.

  • Reflect, review and redesign your search strategy.

It doesn’t have to be go go go. You can chill and do some simple planning and strategy shuffling. Now’s a good time to take stock of your job search arsenal - how’s your social presence looking? Have you reviewed your analytics recently? Any new tools or platforms that could help you? Set some new standards for next year and breathe some life into your tired routines. A bit of perspective can work wonders.

Job searching is a job in itself. Of course you need to take some time off to chill and recharge but you’re working in an industry that moves fast and favours the bold. Use your holiday season to try new things out, measure and reflect on the success of your search strategy and come at those job boards with renewed vigour!

Do you like this stuff? Then join over 21,000 other awesome people who get tips on improving their employer brand, recruitment, marketing and the odd spot of career advice delivered directly to their inbox from me! @markbevans