So you’re toasting the end of the year at holiday parties and ringing in the next, but amidst the festivities you might have jobs on the mind. And we get that the going is tough in December: hiring has slowed and everyone’s out of the office, which means no one’s looking at any apps until January earliest.
That doesn’t mean you should sit on your bum, since time slows for no one looking to break into the notoriously fast-paced job market. There are measures you can take now towards landing that coveted role in 2017, and we’ve compiled them below to help you get your resume to the top of every recruiter’s pile.
1. Approach holiday parties as strategic networking opportunities
Don’t go around hand out business cards like candy; no one likes getting talked up when getting their champagne on. But do proactively start a conversation with those acquaintances and subtly mention you’re looking for new opportunities. You might hear that certain roles will soon open at so-and-so’s company, and since people are feeling generous around the holidays, they’re more likely to drop a referral if you ask nicely.
2. Drop a holiday greeting to old contacts you haven’t spoken to in a while
Kamikaze networkers aside, few people have time to regularly email thousands of contacts to vaguely “stay in touch”. Even fewer like getting emails that say, We haven’t talked in years but I’m saying hi. No reason. But well wishes in the spirit of the season? Fair game. Shoot some folks you’d like to reconnect with a heartfelt holiday message, then don’t act surprised when they’re more apt to think positively of and respond to your job help emails later on.
3. Take the time to assemble your application materials...and do it right
Consider the lull in hiring a blessing in disguise: this is down time you can spend polishing that resume, cover letter, portfolio, and/or personal site. A particularly handy tip? Craft a generic “master” resume with everything you’ve done on there, ready to be tailored into different shorter versions that suit more specific jobs. That way, you’ll be ready to go with an application if you later find a job you absolutely must have. If you’re serious about a more comprehensive application prep plan, see here.
4. Refine your application strategy by applying for roles now
Yes, it sounds like we’re contradicting our previous point; we just told you to bide your time until January. But the practice of actively submitting for roles helps you refine your materials, something that’s easier done when you have something tangible to apply for. You may want to do this only for roles you’re not too intent on landing, though it also helps to submit for any can’t-miss roles you find have been up for a while and are likely to close at any moment. After all, a application that’s fairly solid but not quite there is better than no application at all.
And if you’re serious knocking your apps out of the park, we recommend this Career Improvement Bundle from Resumonk. You’ll access a Diploma in Career Advancement course to help you pinpoint your ideal company, network and interview effectively, and negotiate a higher salary after you lock down your new job. This bundle also includes Resumonk’s automated resume creation software to quickly create impressive resumes as part of a killer application no recruiter can ignore.