Last month, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest rate in four years, and companies continued to hire new employees. Job candidates often get distracted by the holiday festivities, but rather than letting the holidays get in the way, you should redouble your efforts to find a job.
It’s easy to assume that hiring managers will not be available during the holiday season and to put your job search on hold, but that is often not the case. And as we said above, many job searchers take the month off, meaning missed calls from recruiters and hiring managers. Being responsive and available makes the life of your hiring manager much easier – which is always a plus when it comes to job hunting.
Companies are Looking to Hire
While January and February are typically some of the largest months for hiring, many companies hire in December. It’s largely a myth that nothing gets done between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but work does slow down for many businesses. This often means that hiring managers have a little more time on their hands to respond to job candidates.
Understand Hiring Cycles
Many industries will hire new employees in relation to busy seasons or other yearly events. If you’re a tax professional, companies will look to hire well before April 15. Healthcare institutions will often hire heavily in December and January to capture new graduates. If you are unsure of how to utilize these cycles, a staffing agency like Incepture that focuses on healthcare and financial jobs, can help you by working directly with hiring managers to match you with the proper job. When you’re looking though, try to apply about 3 months ahead of an industry busy season.
Every Company has a Different Budget
The year might be ending, but that doesn’t mean that companies are closing out their yearly budgets. Many businesses and nonprofits follow the U.S. government’s fiscal year of October – September, which means that many are still in the first quarter of their fiscal year. With that quarter coming to a close, many companies will be looking to fill their hiring budget, or preparing for the next quarter in January. And if the company’s budget does end on Dec. 31, many hiring managers will be looking to fill their staffing needs before the annual budget expires, leaving a clean sheet for 2013.
Network at Parties
Formal networking events are usually replaced by holiday parties and end-of-year gatherings, but that doesn’t mean you should take these festive opportunities for granted. While it’s always a good idea to meet decision makers when they’re in a giving mood, holiday parties also provide a way to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances. People often underestimate the scope and power of their networks, but the holidays are a perfect excuse to get back in touch with someone. Even family parties can uncover job opportunities with a distantly related cousin, so don’t hesitate to carry on your job search at a holiday party.
– more – Networking
Send out Christmas Cards
While it may be a good time to get send in your resume, the holidays are not a good time to pester hiring managers with follow-up emails. You can, however, send a holiday card with your business card. Don’t send a card just to request a job; make sure to simply wish them happy holidays. If you have recently interviewed for a position you didn’t get, send a card to that hiring manager as well. New hires often don’t work out, so make sure to get in touch and thank them for the opportunity to interview. You never know if it will result in a merry Christmas.
Brian Russell is lives in University of Florida’s Gator Country. He enjoys exploring new places and learning new things, plus sharing what he’s found with others. Turnoffs include double spaces after periods and emails with unneeded CCs. He plays H-O-R-S-E at 3 p.m. EST every weekday at 352 Media Group
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Good luck in your search.