How to Avoid the Holiday Job Hunt Slump

The new year is just around the corner, and while many companies may not be hiring right now due to end-of-year constraints, you should still be ready for when they start.

As a recruiter, I’ve talked to my fair share of candidates that are both actively and passively in the job market. One thing I’ve learned is that the job search process is intimidating for all — especially during the holiday season! You already have so much going on with holiday parties, gift shopping, and wrestling with Christmas lights; do you really have time to keep on top of a job search too? You bet.

Here are my top five tips for navigating your job search through the holidays:

Get in the hiring spirit early.

Get motivated! Many organizations renew their budgets at the beginning of the year and managers start aggressively hiring. According to CNN Money, the U.S. Economy added 257,000 jobs in January 2015, which was the largest amount of growth since 1999. Don’t miss out on that new year hiring increase!

Consider posting your resume before the New Year kicks off, rather than waiting until mid-January. This way, you have time to get through the hiring process, which can sometimes be lengthy depending on the organization!

Dust off ye olde resume.

Clean it up and make it nice! Don’t forget to add the projects and major contributions you made over the past year. Make sure your direct contact information is updated and correct. Using appropriate fonts and engaging headers is also key to catching a recruiter or hiring manager’s eye.

Your resume is often the only opportunity you have to make an impression to a hiring manager, so take it seriously!

Shape up the LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is a huge tool used by recruiters. My top tip? Make sure you add keywords. For example: you’re an IT Business Analyst looking for a job. You would include keywords such as “request for proposal, visio, joint application developer,” etc. Recruiters use keywords such as these in order to search profiles on LinkedIn.

Be sure only to include keywords related to skills you already have!

Believe in the magic of networking.

Networking is often the most under-utilized tool in the job hunt. Your former colleagues and friends will most likely know about any openings at their company and may be able to help you get a foot in the door.

You can network face to face at Meet Up events, through LinkedIn, over the phone, through text, or even through email. If you’re not one to flat out ask if someone is hiring, take an easier approach. It’s fine to just ask for advice from your network on how they handled their job search.

Be positive!

There is a job out there for you! Stay positive, apply for positions, and talk to recruiters when they call. Job hunting can sometimes be a long and tedious process, but don’t give up! Don’t settle for just any job, and always value your worth as a candidate.

So, go grab a tall glass of eggnog, turn on Elf, and get to job hunting! I know you’ll rock it and that dream job door will open for you before you know it. Happy holidays!