Sick of your job? Give yourself the holiday gift of a fresh start by pounding the pavement now, experts advise. Counterintuitive as it seems, given the number of empty desks and out-of-office autoreplies most of us will encounter this month, December is a terrific time for job-seekers. “The year-end holiday season is a perfect time for job-seekers to step up their job search efforts,” says Art Glover, an expert panelist with the Society for Human Resource Management. “Smart job-seekers have nothing to lose by ramping up their efforts at the end of the year,” he says. Here’s why.
Employers are gearing up. Companies want to fill empty positions when the new year starts so they can hit the ground running in January. “Doesn’t everyone want to start the New Year off with all their ducks in a row?… Hiring managers are no different,” recruiting company president Lori Freeman tells the Minneapolis StarTribune.
Deadlines are in your favor. Industries that use recruiters want to bill those services by the end of the year for tax purposes, recruiter Josiah Whitman tells Monster.com. “Hiring managers and bank CEOs will typically try to reduce their operating profits by incurring search fees towards the end of each year, to avoid paying taxes,” he says. And since new fiscal budgets generally start in January, some companies will look to hire in December so they don’t risk lose the budget for the position.
You’ll stand out more. Since a lot of people do stop their job search around the holidays, the ones who keep looking have a less-crowded playing field and stand a better chance of rising to the top. “I think it’s a great time to get noticed because most seekers tend to stop hunting this time of year,” says Chris Russell, founder of regional job board network AllCountyJobs.com. “There is less competition.”
You’ll get the time of day. “Many employers are not as busy during the holidays, so candidates may have a better chance of getting the attention of HR departments and hiring managers,” Glover says. “Additionally, employers may be more inclined to take a longer look at strong resumes and applications since things have slowed down a bit. Candidates may even stand a better chance of catching employers by phone if they decide to do some cold-calling.”
It’s less hassle to interview. If you currently have a job, it’s less likely to raise suspicion if you want a day off to go interview, and your own workload is probably lighter, so you can take the time out of the office. “Many [employees] take their unused vacation in December (because they may lose it at year’s end) and as a result, they are unusually available for calls and interviews,” HR expert John Sullivan writes on recruiting industry site ERE.net. “When they are off work, prospects don’t need to lie to their boss in order to find time to go to an interview.”