Because of COVID, job hunting during the holiday season may seem more daunting than ever. The pandemic has changed everything from job descriptions to interviewing processes. But with a few pointers, you can make the most of this new way of sourcing your next job.
Read on to discover five tips for your 2020 holiday job search.
Tip #1: Take Advantage of Extra Networking Opportunities
The holiday season usually offers first-rate networking opportunities. Businesses and organizations hold more events, like cocktail hours and seasonal celebrations. In many cases, they’re open to employees’ guests or the public.
Because of COVID, job hunting and networking have mostly been relegated to the internet. There will still be holiday networking events, however. Many of them will be based on Zoom instead of in person.
Check websites like LinkedIn, Eventbrite, and MeetUp to find events hosted by businesses or professional groups. Sign up for any that look relevant. You never know who will be there!
When attending a holiday networking event over Zoom, remember to:
- Check the dress code (you may be asked to wear holiday attire!)
- Prepare your elevator pitch in case you’re asked for it.
- Mention that you’re looking for a job
- Have your LinkedIn profile URL or resume link ready to send
You may learn about a potential opportunity for your holiday job search and make lasting connections that help build your career.
Tip #2: Don’t Be Afraid to Follow Up
A lot of professionals take time off during November and December. If they don’t, they may be responsible for their coworkers’ various tasks. In other words, they’re not going to be checking their emails as often as usual.
Expect to spend time waiting for replies from employers and your professional contacts. But don’t wait too long.
Consider sending follow-up emails within five or so days. Follow-upsFollow-ups show other professionals that you are organized and eager to correspond.
In each holiday job search follow up, include a greeting, a conversational statement, and a reminder of what you’re following upon. Your emails may look like this example:
I hope you had a nice weekend. I took advantage of the snow and went sledding in Beaufort Park!
I’m circling in on Zoom meeting dates since you mentioned that you’d be gone starting next Monday. Do you have time to sync before then? Looking forward to it!
A cheerful follow up will bump you to the top of your recipient’s inbox. They may even be grateful for the gentle reminder.
Tip #3: Consider Temporary Positions
Businesses often advertise temporary positions during the holidays. People choose this time of year to take time off, begin sabbaticals, or switch jobs. Some companies simply have more work available, depending on the industry.
While the term “temporary” might discourage you, don’t let it. Temporary jobs can easily turn into long-term opportunities.
Temporary jobs are a great opportunity for employers to determine whether you work well with them. They’re also an opportunity for you to determine whether you like a workplace, too. You can always work a temporary job while continuing your holiday job search after hours.
When applying for temporary positions, be sure to ask your interviewer about:
- Opportunities for lengthening the position timeline
- The chances of the temporary role transforming into a permanent role
- Potential company roles opening in the future
Questions like these will sate your curiosity and let your interviewer know that you’re interested in committing yourself to their company.
Tip #4: Use Down Time to Update Your Application Materials
As you send out your resume and connect with past coworkers, remember that this is an irregular time of year. There’s a chance that you may not hear anything from employers. HR teams and recruiters may be on vacation or busy with family.
Don’t spend time waiting to hear back from anyone. Instead, take action.
After you send follow-ups, spend your time sprucing up application materials. Add your most recent accomplishments or reformat documents. This will help both your current job search and your overall career.
Consider refreshing or creating a:
- LinkedIn page
- Personal website
- CV or resume
- Cover letter template
- Personal brand guide
Staying productive during the waiting period of your holiday job search can help you make strides in the long run.
Tip #5: Take Some Time for Yourself
During COVID, job hunting can be particularly stressful. Set aside some time for yourself, whether it’s a couple of hours or a couple of days. Take stock in the year, enjoy your family’s company (even if it’s over Zoom), and, most importantly, relax.
You will be able to perform your best in interviews if you’re well-rested. Plus, the holiday season only comes around once a year. Enjoy it while you can! Allowing yourself some time off is a critical part of your holiday job search.
At the end of the day, the holidays are a time for cheer. Draw from that positivity—and these five tips—to make the most of your holiday job search.