Say you’ve got six weeks left to find a job and it is now early October. No matter how festive you may (or may not) be, vacation time for hiring managers starts November 15 (as a group, not individually). Even though most people won’t start taking time off until the following week, no one is starting first-round interviews the week before everyone leaves.
Then December brings end-of-year meetings filled with annual summaries and budgeting exercises that often threaten to chop any open headcount. The December holidays? Those are a wash.
Unless you’re prepared to wait until the second week of January to start looking again, it’s time to kick your job search into high gear.
5 Tips for Finding a Job Before the Holidays
Make a calendar. Figure out how much time you really have. Between Thanksgiving at the in-laws, little Emily’s Christmas pageant, and all the parties for Pan American Aviation Day, your dance card is packed. Nothing will light a fire under you quite like seeing just how little time you actually have. You’ll also need this info when scheduling interviews.
Get your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile in shape. This is an absolute no-brainer. Sure, it’s tedious. You’d rather be doing just about anything else besides updating your resume. But the longer you put it off, the shorter your window gets. Block off some time this weekend and just get it done. You’ll be glad you did. For more resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn tips, start here:
- How to Write a Great Resume
- 5 Deadly Resume Errors People Still Make
- How to Write an Effective Cover Letter
- 5 Cover Letter Tips from a Recruiter
- How to Create an Effective LinkedIn Profile
Network aggressively. Your network is your best chance of landing a gig. Period. Reach out to former bosses, former colleagues (current colleagues are not recommended), and industry contacts. Tell them you’re looking and what you’re looking for, and ask them if they can help. You’ll be surprised how many will be happy to do just that. A personal reference can move you past the vast queue of resumes and right to the front of the line. Need networking tips? Check out How to Network Using LinkedIn.
Check the news. There’s more to digital than just Mashable, TechCrunch, and FastCompany. Keep an eye on things like Crain’s Executive Moves to see who’s in and who’s out. If a new exec is in your network, ping them. If a company you’re interested in just lost a key player and you can fill the void, ping them (the company, not the player). A company in pain is a company that’s ready to hire.
Reach Out to Recruiters. By this point in the year, companies know that the hiring window is closing. Those in dire need of must-have talent often turn to recruiters to find the right hire by the end of the year. This is one of your best bets to find gigs that need to close ASAP. If you’ve never worked with a recruiter before, start with How to Choose the Right Recruiter for Your Job Search.
Six weeks. That’s it. If the thought of starting the new year at the same desk you currently occupy kills your holiday spirit, it’s time to get cracking. Besides, a new gig will finally give you something to talk about with your family during those tedious holiday dinners.