I love this time of year. I don’t mean the stress of the holiday season; I’m talking about the best time to job search. In the past two years, more of my clients have found jobs between Thanksgiving and Christmas than during any other time throughout the year. Last weekend alone, I got three emails from clients saying that their interviews had led to job offers.
Here are some reasons why now is the best time to find a job:
Year-end accounting. Many companies in our area are on a calendar year, which means their annual accounting closes at the end of the month. For that reason, many hiring managers want or need to fill openings before the end of the year. If they don’t, they run the risk of losing those openings next year.
What this means to you: Faster hiring and quicker decision making. No more wasting your time bringing you in for dozens of interviews. They know that if you’re top talent, you’ll probably take another offer somewhere else — and they don’t want to take that risk.
Better accessibility. More recruiters, hiring managers and executives are available now than during any other time of the year. I’ve been setting up meetings this month, and almost everyone is saying, “Go ahead and pick any day this week; I’m pretty much open.”
What this means to you: If you’ve been trying to reach decision makers and they’ve been unavailable because of their hectic schedules, try again. I can’t guarantee, but I bet you’ll get more meetings before Christmas than you did in the past few months.
Holiday cheer. The holiday season gives you permission to do things that would be awkward any other time of the year. You can send a card, some treats or a gift basket to those strategic connections you’ve been wanting to meet. During other times of the year, this approach is much harder.
What this means to you: You have no more excuses. If you’re looking to meet the chief marketing officer of Company A or the vice president of HR at Company B, this is the time to do it. All you have to do is buy a holiday card, hand-write a nice note and, just to make sure you get a response, include a $5 Starbucks gift card. This will go a long way toward getting you meetings that weren’t probable otherwise.
Less competition. Your competition is hibernating right now. They’re busy setting up the Christmas tree, planning their vacation and shopping for the kids.
What this means to you: Fewer resumes submitted per job opening means yours has a better chance of standing out. If you’ve been waiting for someone to take a look at your qualifications — because you have everything it takes to get the job — now is the time.
Here are some additional things you can do this month:
Become a job-board ninja. NWjobs.com and similar sites have thousands of openings listed right now. The key is to find the right opportunities based on your interests and qualifications and get your resume noticed by the hiring manager or recruiter.
Master your social-media search skills. Even if you aren’t tweeting about walking your dog, checking in at Safeway on Foursquare or stalking your high-school sweetheart on Facebook, it doesn’t mean you can’t use these tools to search for word-of-mouth job openings or meet recruiters online.
Leverage groups and associations. The Seattle Networking Guide has a comprehensive list of professional groups and associations in the area. Simply browse through the categories and pick the ones relevant to you.
While I believe in relationships and strategic job searching, I’m also a strong advocate of going pure tactical and hitting these sources hard during this time. This will help you get noticed by companies that want to fill those openings by the end of the year. Happy holidays!
Live Seminars in December
- December 5 (Bellevue, WA)
- December 8 (Bellevue, WA)
- December 10 (Bellevue, WA)