Finding a new job is difficult at the best of times. Many people believe that finding one in the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year’s is downright impossible. But while it’s far from easy, finding a job before this Christmas can be done. The biggest trick? Put some effort into your search. Don’t pull back.
Tip #1 - Keep At It
Many job seekers believe - right or wrong - that hiring slows down and/or stops in December. That may be true with some companies, but not all. Many other businesses and hiring personnel will be eager to fill positions before the holiday break. By keeping active in your search, you’ll be one of the few (or fewer, at any rate) competing for jobs. Don’t ease up just because it’s December.
Tip #2 - Update Your Resume
If it’s been a while since you were last looking for employment, you’ll need to spruce up your resume. There are dozens of great articles online to help you create a top-notch CV for the modern world (How to Write a Killer Resume for one). Focus on problems you solved, innovations you spearheaded, and skills you’ve improved and mastered.
Tip #3 - Update Your Social Media Profiles
Don’t dismiss social media as the realm of teenagers and slackers. Everyone - absolutely everyone - is on at least one platform, and many companies actively use them for hiring. A recent survey by Bullhorn found that nearly 98% of respondents had used LinkedIn for recruitment in the past year. Can you afford to ignore that stat (No. No you can’t). Facebook and Twitter are also high on that list.
LinkedIn is the platform of choice, though, for professionals. Update your profile. Use keywords that pertain to your industry and position. Make it easy for HR managers to find you. LinkedIn even offers a premium job seeker account that is undoubtedly worth the investment. Much like your resume, highlight your problem-solving skills and experience, highlight your innovative side, and make it virtually impossible for anyone to ignore you as a candidate.
And while you’re on LinkedIn updating and polishing your profile, be sure and reach out to industry leaders and companies. Connect, engage, and establish a relationship with the people and businesses that could help you in your search.
Tip #4 - Check Out the Job Boards
Hiring is primarily done online these days. Posting, application submission, and even interviews are all done via the internet. There are many examples you could check out, including Craigslist (with country and city specific sites available), Kijiji, and Indeed. Set up email notifications (you’ll receive an email update each time someone posts a new job using keywords you specify) and/or subscribe to their RSS feed if available. Harness the power of the web to make the search part that much easier. There may be a lot of garbage to sift through, but you can still find that proverbial diamond in the rough.
Most job boards also allow you to post your (new and improved) resume, too. A good trick is to update or tweak it frequently (weekly is best) so it is constantly moved back to the front of the line (most file resumes by date they were submitted or last edited).
Tip #5 - Work with a Headhunter
If you’re looking for an admin or exec position, you’ll probably have more luck using a headhunter, as most companies fill their higher up positions via them. Find one in your area or specializing in your industry and touch base.
Tip #6 - Don’t Wait for Your Dream Company to Post
Looking for job postings is well and good, but you don’t have to sit around until your list of dream companies decides to advertise a position. You can search their website to see if anything is listed internally by using the Google website search protocol:
site:website search term
So, if you were looking for an accounting job with Target, for example, you could search their entire website. In the Google search field, type “site:target.com accountant” (minus the quotation marks) and hit enter. Any mention of that word on any page within target.com will be listed in the search results. Using this tool, you could potentially find job openings before the company has even listed them on the aforementioned job boards. Check out Google Site Search for a more detailed explanation and tips.
And even if you don’t find anything on their website, don’t be afraid to send a quick email to their HR department and simply ask. They just might have something.
Finding a new job in December is no picnic, but the difference is often putting in the extra effort. Hiring does not stop for the holidays, so neither should you. Keep at it, because landing your dream job is the best Christmas gift of all.
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