Undoubtedly, January is a popular hiring period in which demand for talent surpasses the supply of qualified candidates. Last January, the U.S. economy added 113,000 jobs, and although below economists’ expectations, this number shows that January entails one of the biggest hiring cycles in the calendar year. Not only are companies getting back into the swing of things after the Christmas recess, but their budgets for the New Year are finally open, and are ready to move forward with their plans.
So how do you get prepared for strong hiring periods, such as the first quarter of the year? Here is some advice on how to successfully prepare for the peak hiring season following the Christmas holiday.
Work on your job searching tools
In the first week of January, when everybody just got back, it is the best time to prepare and refine your resume, fine-tune your social media profiles and employment website settings. Use this time to also complete online applications and add information on incomplete sections such as references contact information, past employer addresses etc.
In addition to this, this is the ideal time to become a more competent jobseeker. Enlist the wisdom of career coach and attend various seminars that will help you build an effective job search strategy so as to thrive as a candidate.
Prepare a marketing strategy
At this point, you also need to be strategic and thoughtful with regards to how you brand yourself. Take some time to redefine your value proposition, re-evaluate what you have to offer, analyse your key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as well as polish your overall appearance. Communicate a message that represents your real value to your target employer.
Start targeting particular jobs
By the second week of January, employment sites will start posting more vacancies, so your job this week will be to meticulously search for job postings and then choose at least 10 potential employers. Research what these companies do, how big they are, and search for relevant reviews on sites such as Glassdoor, RateMyEmployer.ca, Jobeehive.com, etc.
Figure out what the company’s main problems are and what solutions can you provide the employer with. As the holidays draw near, employers increasingly deal with new and more pressing challenges and are expecting someone to give them meaningful solutions.
Fill out applications
The third week of January is usually a hot time for job online, and hiring managers are busy screening applications. While filling applications online and sending out your CV to multiple employers, make sure to avoid any kind of mistakes or omissions. In the meantime, keep on tracking down hiring managers and researching your target companies or favoured jobs. Don’t leave yourself to the mercy of job descriptions which could sometimes be misleading. When you get your interview calls, be sure to answer the phone promptly so that you don’t end up fighting the HR’s schedule. It is equally important to follow up emails from recruitment agencies, employers etc.
Use the holiday season to your advantage to forge a connection with a key player at your target company. Besides, see which LinkedIn connections you haven’t touch based with for a long time and make a concerted effort to rekindle your relationship with them.
Certainly, job searching is a full-time job, but at the same time, it goes without saying that you should enjoy the merry spirit of Christmas and maintain a good balance of job search preparation, networking and recreation. Make the most of these tips to prepare for the peak hiring season that follows the Christmas holiday.
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