I’m not going to say it too loudly, but Christmas really is nearly upon us. And in the world of careers and recruitment, Christmas is a very odd time.
Traditionally - although there are always sectors which buck this trend - the number of people considering an imminent job change starts to slow down as the Christmas parties divert attention. But that doesn’t mean that people aren’t thinking about a change. Come the few days between Christmas and the New Year, and the prospect of another year drawing to a close is the impetus needed to get people kicking off their job search with renewed vigour. By January second, the pace has picked up to a frenzy, as the energy that had been poured into finding the perfect cocktail dress or secret santa gift is suddenly diverted to finding a new job.
Here’s how to get a head-start.
Number One - Network
I know you know this. But when was the last time you did it? Christmas is the absolutely perfect time to pick up old acquaintances, dropping them a line through Linkedin or other social media channels, or simply emailing a note to wish them all the best in the New Year. And naturally, if your acquaintance happens to be a recruiter or work in a business which you might be interested in moving to in the future, this would be a good time to mention that you may be considering a move.
Suggest a meeting over coffee in January, and the Christmas cheer will see your efforts pay back. And after all, if you don’t get a response, then you could use a gentle reminder, along the lines of ’I wondered if my email was caught up in the Christmas deluge, and so thought I would re-send it’, without either party losing face.
Number Two - Research
If you are seriously thinking about a move in the New Year then invest time now in researching the companies that interest you. Sending speculative CVs is a good way to make contacts, but a scatter gun approach will waste your time and that of the recruiters at the end of the line. Take some time to think about the sectors and businesses you are interested in, review their webpages, read up on industry magazines, start to follow the relevant thought leaders on Twitter and Linkedin, and call up any contacts you might have in the right businesses who might help along the way. By January you will be returning ready to start getting your resume out there in the right places.
Number Three - Update your CV
Even if the last time your CV was brought out was only a few months ago, it pays to review and update. The same is doubly true if your resume has been sat unedited on a computer for years. You might find it easier to start afresh if you need to make significant changes to your resume - for example if you are moving industries, or have not updated your CV since leaving school. Think about the best format for you CV depending on your situation, and make sure you highlight all the relevant skills you have as well as the pertinent but flat facts of your job experience.
At the very least, ensure you tweak the details for every job you apply for, keeping a record of different versions so you can refresh your memory when you are called to interview.
Three simple steps to keep you busy - especially if you are in the office grave-yard shift between Christmas and New Year, and which will help make your New Year search quick to start, and more satisfying all round.