How to keep up the Job Hunt during the Holidays


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I am a member of the Career Collective, a group of  resume writers and career coaches. Each month, all members discuss a topic. Please follow our tweets on Twitter #careercollective

This month we are discussing helping job seekers stay focused and encouraged during the holiday season.  I encourage you to visit the links below to read other members’ posts as well!     +++++


The holidays can be one of the worst times to find yourself out of a job.

Not only do you face pressure to attend family functions and buy presents, but it can also be very difficult to get an interview during the short work weeks, and all the vacation time that tends to pop up for recruiters and HR staff during winter. Still, it’s important that you don’t give up your job search over the holidays simply because people are hard to reach. In fact, this time can be an excellent point to begin a job search, for several reasons.

First, you have the greatest opportunity for networking during the holiday season. If you’re attending a lot of parties and functions, you’re guaranteed to run into acquaintances that may or may not know you’re looking for employment. Go to dinner parties and family gatherings as often as you can. Be ready to pass out your business card or resume at a moment’s notice. You’d be surprised how often a conversation over a punch bowl can serve as a preliminary interview. You’ll be exposed to plenty of people in a variety of fields. It’s an excellent way to build some connections.

Another often overlooked benefit of job hunting during the holidays is that most people don’t do it. Because so many quit just before the holiday season, or put off hunting for a job until after the new year, you have a great opportunity to get yourself out there before the glut of new applicants drifts in. Work with HR employees and recruiters now, while everyone else is still polishing their resumes to show on January 3rd. You’ll be forefront in everybody’s mind, even if you don’t get the interview until later.

December is also a great time for you to work on putting together a great presentation online. Because so many hiring executives will be traveling or spending vacation time at their homes, email and the internet may be the best way to get in touch with them. Make sure you have a great presence on all the social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. You can also put together a slide show resume on SlideShare. You never know – an employer may get your cover letter while he’s eating Christmas dinner, but just because he’s not in the office doesn’t mean he won’t read it.

Most importantly, don’t get discouraged, no matter how long the job search takes. If you convince yourself that you’re never going to land an interview, or get your foot in the door of a new career, you probably won’t. Perseverance will serve you much better than luck. If you give up on the job hunt until it’s business as usual in the places you want to work, chances are that they’ll have already filled the position you want to occupy.

Treat the holiday season like any other job hunting time, and give it everything you’ve got.


Follow us on Twitter with our hashtag #careercollective and read these posts:

@MartinBuckland, Elite Resumes, Season’s Greetings and your Job Search”

@GayleHoward, The Executive Brand, “It’s Christmas: And a ho-ho-ho-hum?”

@KCCareerCoach, Career Chaos, “The Gift Every Laid Off Job Seeker Needs”

@resumeservice, Resume Writing Blog,Holiday Resume Sparkle: Outshine the New Year Job-Search Mob

@heathermundell, life@work, “Have a Holly Jolly Job Search”

@sweetcareers,Sweet Careers, “Holiday Job Search Tips for College Students 2009″

@careersherpa, Hannah Morgan: Career Sherpa, “Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa Cheers”

@careerealism,, “Holiday Tip for Job Seekers: 4 Ways to Impress Others with Your Professionalism”

@heatherhuhman,, “4 Tips for Making the Most of Holiday Job Hunting”

@LaurieBerenson, Sterling Career Concepts, Three Resolutions to Take It Up a Notch”

@KatCareerGal, Quintessential Resumes and Cover Letters Tips Blog, “Avoiding the Holiday Blues in Your Job Search”

@WorkWithIllness,, Avoid this Minefield: Drive Your Bus!”

@DawnBugni, The Write Solution “Could that sound really be opportunity? During the Holidays?

@andyinnaples, “Shift Your Focus to the Highest Impact Job Search Activities During the Holidays to Leverage Your Time”

@erinkennedycprw, Professional Resume Services, How to keep up the Job Hunt during the Holidays”

@keppie_careers, Keppie Careers, “Four tips for effective networking follow-up for the holidays and the rest of the year”

@ValueIntoWords, Career Trend, “Navigating the Mistletoe of Job Search”

@GLHoffman, What Would Dad Say, “Merry Christmas! Can I Buy You Coffee to Talk About Me?”

@BarbaraSafani, Career Solvers, “Holiday Networking Can Facilitate New Year Opportunities”

@expatcoachmegan, Career By Choice Blog, “Expat Networking: Holidays Are a Great Time to Nurture and Grow Your Network”

@chandlee, The Emerging Professional Blog, “Footprints & Associations: Job Search Tips for the Holidays”

@JobHuntOrg,, “(Holiday) Party Your Way to a New Job”

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Written by Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW - Visit the website to hire executive resume writer Erin Kennedy, CERW, CPRW

Erin is an internationally renowned certified resume writer specializing in professional and executive level resumes and career services.

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35 Responses to “How to keep up the Job Hunt during the Holidays”
  1. Gayle Howard says:

    I agree 100% Erin. Christmas/Holiday season is without a doubt the best time to network. Nobody sees it as “Oh no, Fred’s here sniffing around for a job” because everyone is out and about being sociable. If a person feels at all embarrassed about networking then all doubts and fears should disappear at this time of year. It’s perfectly natural to see friends, former colleagues, suppliers/vendors — anyone who can help you get a leg up in the year ahead.

  2. I agree! I was just telling a client that yesterday. It’s a great time of year for it! 🙂

  3. Yep, agree with you guys. Focus on enjoying December and nail it again in January 🙂

  4. Erin:
    Great post! You are so right about people being away from the office, yet still checking email…all job seekers should work on having something solid and enticing to say about themselves, like a slideshare resume on LinkedIn. You just never know!

  5. Erin,

    Great post! Challenges do present opportunities – applying the right strategies at the right time is what helps people get ahead. Exploring all of the strategies and tools at your disposal as far as the job search is concerned is a great way to spend the holiday season!

    Happy Holidays!

    Megan Fitzgerald

  6. Helpful tips and great of you to encourage job seekers. It is so needed. Good idea to take this time to build your online presence. A must!

    Thanks, Erin Great post!
    .-= Rosa E. Vargas´s last blog ..Holiday Resume Sparkle: Outshine the New Year Job-Search Mob =-.

  7. Great points, Erin! I was just telling a client the other day not to slow down her job search efforts this month. I particularly agree with your suggestion to beef up your online presence during this time of year. Smart to be ensure your online brand is on target and flushed out.

  8. Erin,
    I so enjoy your style!

    In particular, I liked the example of the employer reading one’s cover letter while eating Christmas dinner. Poignant! True! Timing is, well, not everything, but something!

    And the slideshare resume idea – nice!

    Very solid, realistic points to help job seekers stay on track during this often bogged down holiday season!


  9. Erin,

    My clients have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of activity they have seen in December. Your post is a great reminder that opportunity can certainly knock in December.

  10. Excellent suggestions – particularly the one about doing a SlideShare presentation in December to be better armed for the 2010 job search, whether or not someone is currently employed.

    Happy Holidays!

  11. Jim Edwards says:

    Holiday Job Hunting: Fact & Fiction

    The Quiz & Answers

    Please indicate “Fact” or “Fiction” for each of the statements below.

    1. There is less competition for jobs in December.

    Fact. Competition for positions is greatly reduced because of the prevailing belief that employers don’t
    hire in December. Most of your competitors will not be looking for a job this month but look out in
    January! Many job seekers get offers they wouldn’t ordinarily get by looking in December.

    2. There are only a few positions open in December.

    Fiction. For most companies, next year’s budget is already approved. Hiring managers either want to
    start the year with full staff or have requisitions for positions that begin immediately after the New
    Year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys show no pattern of a drop-off in permanent hires at year-
    end. In fact, most companies have the same number of openings at year-end as they do the rest of the
    year but they have fewer candidates. There may also be pressure to exhaust this year’s hiring budget.

    3. January is the strongest hiring month of the year.

    Fact. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, January is the strongest hiring month of the year.
    Remember, it’s the legwork done in November and December that puts job seekers in a better position
    to snag the first-of-the-year positions.

    4. Hiring managers are too busy during the holidays to do interviews.

    Fiction. Fewer business trips and daylong meetings take place in December making it easier to reach
    decision makers. Most managers have reached their goals and are at their desks planning for the New
    Year. Managers could also have tips of positions that will open after the first of the year.

    5. Calls to potential employers are not welcome during the holidays.

    Fiction. For most of the year, managers strive to screen the tide of job hunters coming their way. At
    year-end, however, that tide has thinned and hiring managers are in a more giving mood. The best time
    to call is first thing in the morning and late afternoon. By mid-day they are likely to be roaming the
    halls or taking longer lunch breaks.

    6. Holiday parties are great places to get job leads.

    Fact. Of course, you have to have your strategy well planned. Collect your holiday presents early by
    requesting job leads and referrals from your friends. Be company and department specific in your
    request naming your target company and the specific department. Get names, numbers, and permission
    to mention your contact’s name in the initial call. Appearing desperate is a downer for everybody.
    Engage in some relaxed conversation about job openings.

    Make appointments with willing friends and acquaintances for coffee or other short social meetings to
    discuss your search. Have your 90-second commercial ready along with a 60 second description of
    your ideal job. (See the “Tools” handout for more information.)

    7. Sending Holiday greeting cards is a waste of time.

    Fiction. Use your holiday cards to update friends, associates, and family on your current status. An
    upbeat note in the card will start your phone ringing. Expanding your list of card recipients will put
    your name in front of more people, possibly some that you will see at holiday parties.

    8. December is a good month to take time off from a job search.

    Fiction. The prevailing concept is that companies don’t hire during the holidays. Fact: they do!!
    Taking yourself out of the game shrinks the pool of candidates and gives someone else the edge.

    9. Traveling during the holidays stops a job search.

    Fiction. Okay, it’s a trick question. If you are already interviewing with a prospective employer, taking
    a trip is a great reason to call the hiring manager with your contact information. Another possibility is
    that your travels may take you to one of your target locations. How about calling potential employers
    ahead of time to set up visits?

    10. Taking a temporary holiday job is a bad idea.

    Fact & Fiction. Taking a temp job to fill the dwindling coffers could be necessary. Selecting that job is
    important. Many retail jobs will end after the rush and you’ve taken yourself off of the market at a
    critical time. Temp jobs with companies that are on your hit list or if the work closely matches your
    preferences and skills could be a great idea. Companies are hiring “temp to perm” more often these
    .-= Jim Edwards´s last blog ..Lightship Research updated his profile =-.

  12. I definitely agree with you. While it’s difficult to stay motivated and to get appointments for interviews during the holidays, there are also the advantages of less competition. Also, many companies start their fiscal year at the beginning of the calendar year, and that means that they are making their budgets for the next year right now. Many of them will budget for an additional employee, and if it’s in the budget they’re going to want to hire someone right away to start near the beginning of the year. So this can mean good things for those who are persistent and determined (and well qualified).
    .-= Morris County Movers´s last blog ..Hunterdon County Movers =-.

  13. This country (the UK) more or less shuts down in December, everyone takes liquid lunches and talk about Christmas so it’s pretty futile to even try to get a job this month – but you never know!!

  14. I think holidays can be a great time to recharge and regroup for the next big job push, but that doesn’t mean sitting on your butt. I really like your suggestion to get out there and network. There are countless holiday parties to get together with friends and family. Often these are people in your extended network who may not know you are looking. Take the opportunity to let them know you need help and you may be surprised at who they can introduce you to.

    I’d also recommend taking the time to hunker down and take a close look at your pitch materials. Is your resume really the best it could be? How about your cover letter? Are there supporting materials like a portfolio of work that could help you land the job in the interview? Take the time to pull those together.

    To that end I’d recommend checking out BriteTab ( a service that allows job seekers to easily build interactive online resumes that can really help job seekers get a foot in the door. Yes, this is a plug, but we’re seeing more people taking this holiday time to really make their resume sing. We can help.

    There may not be a flurry of job activity right now, but taking time to prepare now could lead to great success in the New Year. Good luck job seekers!

  15. mx clothing says:

    Good post a job hunt is easily a full-time job. Don’t make it more than that. Put in your time job-hunting thanks for this post thanks.

  16. Nice tips about how to keep up the job hunt during the holidays. really Wonderfully described by you For get desire job is a hard thing. One of my friend struggling now i will prefer him to read this post.your post is very helpful thanks.

  17. Ann Julie says:

    KEEP ON LOOKING for a job anywhere, you never know that where your luck might just shine for you. I liked the “networking during holidays” part.

  18. Kimberley28 says:

    Writing companies do the best essay writing services connecting with this good topic and the very interesting ideas simply about costs, some students will have costless!

  19. In the past year I’ve been blessed with 2 beautiful grand sons, watched my daughter go through an ugly, unexpected divorce, and lost a few loved ones. I’m also watching family and friends have to reorganize their lives because of the economic situation. My holidays are going to be different in a lot of ways. Are things much different for you this year?

  20. ppo says:

    This article is timely. I really think that the person who really needs a job will see the whole festivity of the season as an opportunity to meet people. Go to every party that you are invited to (as long as it does not cost your money) and get an opportunity to mix and mingle. Be open about the fact that you are looking for work. Also, volunteering give you a change to meet others and network
    .-= ppo´s last blog ..PPO Insurance and Plans and deductibles =-.

  21. Great post!! I totally agree with Erin about searching jobs during holiday season, its the best time to meet people and build your network. Keep your options open and you never know whom you will get introduced to. Thanks for sharing this post Erin, I loved reading it and i have sent this post to 4 of my friends already (very insightful).

    Good luck to all job seekers.

  22. I never think of it to find or hunt for job in holidays as holidays are only for enjoying life, i dont bother myself doing such things but i m surely continue my work the time i get free from my holidays as other days are for working.

  23. I think many companies start their fiscal year at the beginning of the calendar year, and that means that they are making their budgets for the next year right now.

  24. It’s also vital that job seekers continue to build on the foundation they created during the holidays. This may consist of also searching for Plan B jobs and or expanding their targeted company list to include more small and mid-sized companies; in anticipation of the upcoming job creation bill that will provide incentives for small businesses to hire (if it is passed by the Senate).
    .-= Kenrick Chatman´s last blog ..How to Differentiate Yourself and Rise to the Top of Your Profession =-.

  25. I agree!

    Thanks, Kenrick.



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