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Slowing down your job search til' the season's over?

This valuable article for job seekers comes from one of our amazing NextJob coaches, Norma Russo.  If you are thinking of slowing down your job search during the holidays you might want to think again!

Don't Give Up On Job Hunting In Exchange For Gift Hunting

The holiday season is -- prime time -- for job seekers. Often times, job seekers hold the impression that employers suspend their hiring activity from mid-November through New Year's Day. That is a myth!

The truth is companies continue to hire during the holiday season, but job hunters quit looking. A recent survey of career management coaches, revealed that coaches see job openings continue (if not increase) during December, just when many job seekers put their resume on the shelf for the holiday season.

The survey of coaches further indicated that there is no statistical proof that there are fewer new job openings in December versus other times of the year. In fact, many say it is just the opposite. While holiday parties and vacation schedules slow the hiring process, there is minimal impact on the day-to-day business operations - and that includes hiring. Hiring isn't driven by a calendar. It is driven by a need.

In many companies, hiring actually ramps up in December as employers have money left in their budgets and want to spend it rather than lose it. Others want their team in place and ready to go come January, so they recruit and hire now. Still others want to tie up loose ends before the end of the year - and this includes filling open positions. 

The year end is a popular time for people to give notice and move on. Some receive year-end bonuses and leave right after; still others want extra time to be with family & friends. The result is more job opportunities for others.

5 tips for optimizing your holiday season job search:

1. Don't take time off from job searching - While schedules and activities may change during the holidays, business and organizational activities still keep going and so should you!

2. Networking opportunities multiply - Every event, party, children's school functions, community gathering, seasonal volunteer commitment, etc., is an opportunity for you to network or make a new contact. Other job searchers slow down - that means you shouldn't. People are often more open and have a bit more time to talk. Keep in mind that networking is as much about sharing information about who and what you know as it is about enlisting their support for your job search. 

3. Stay in touch with your network - The holidays offer an easy yet meaningful way to stay in touch and get the attention of a prospective employer, or a recruiter. More than likely, you are sending holiday greetings to friends and family, so with a few appropriate and purposeful tweaks and not much extra work, you can stay in touch while standing out. And while handwritten notes still rank high and e-mail greetings are growing in acceptance, there is nothing better than a personal call. Be careful with the message and sensitive to the diversity of religious beliefs and practices. 

4. Make yourself flexible and available and keep in contact - The holidays will create scheduling challenges. People go on vacations and schedules get hectic. To generate any success, you will have to fight the hands of time. This means leaving yourself available and flexible. 

5. Remember a new year follows the holidays - Recruiters, both internal and external to the organization, want to wrap up and fill job openings before January 1st. Many offers are extended in December. Don't start the New Year with a blank calendar. Work now to be the first on the hiring manager's 2011 calendar. 
Many people believe the myth that the job market goes on winter holiday, taking with it an abundance of job opportunities. This simply is not true. December is the busiest time of the year. This does not mean you are guaranteed to land a job. What it does mean is that you should not abort your search. With these tips and a bit of luck, you may find yourself ringing in the New Year with a new career.



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