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4 Tips to Make the Most of Holiday Cleared Job Search

Posted by Ashley Preuss
holiday job search

With Thanksgiving fast approaching and December just on the horizon, many are looking forward to the hap-happiest season of all. But hold the holiday music—it may not feel like the most wonderful time of the year if you’re in cleared job search mode.

It can be frustrating conducting a job search at the end of the year. Sometimes it feels like hiring is slowing down and no one will take your calls. Splurging on seasonal shopping and indulging in holiday meals aren’t the only temptations to look out for. Many job seekers are tempted to hit the brakes on their job search or abandon it all together until the New Year.

Putting your job search on pause wastes valuable time and leads to missed opportunities. Don’t fall for the myth that hiring is on hold. Some hiring processes may slow down, but if employers have open positions that are critical to performance in the new calendar year, they’ll want to fill these before December 31. So, stay the course and keep following-up and networking.

If you commit to continuing your cleared job search throughout the holiday season, you’ll gain an advantage as other candidates drop out of the race. Make the most of the season by maintaining and upgrading your job search efforts. Consider working on these four crucial job search components to make the season bright:

1. Refresh Your Resume

Your cleared resume is an advertisement, not your biography. The goal of your resume is to get a hiring manager or recruiter to contact you for an interview. It should only include details that are relevant to the position you’re applying for—so target your resume whenever possible.

If you’re sharing your resume with someone in your network or attending a job fair with multiple employers, it’s not always possible to target it to a specific job opening. In that case, make sure it demonstrates the direction you want to take your career.

When you apply for a position, recruiters do a quick scan of your resume to see if it merits a deeper dive. Grab their attention quickly with a concise summary that illustrates what value you offer to the specific targeted employer. And be sure to focus on accomplishment statements rather than listing responsibilities—this is one of the most important improvements you can make to your resume.

If you haven’t made it through to the next steps in the hiring process like a phone screening or interview yet, ask yourself if your resume really says what you think it says. Is your resume serving your job search well? A resume doesn’t get you hired – it just opens doors. So proofread, refine, and rewrite when necessary to make sure it’s up to par. Read here for more tips to write your most effective resume.

2. Perfect Your Elevator Speech

Whether you call it your elevator pitch, personal introduction, or 30-second commercial, you need to be able to quickly and clearly communicate who you are and what you’re looking for. It’s relevant in interviews, at job fairs, when you email your resume to someone asking for help, or in any setting where you’re talking about your job search—perhaps at a holiday party with a new networking prospect!

If a recruiter calls and asks you to tell them about yourself, be ready to deliver your prepared elevator speech. You don’t want to respond with an unclear answer that you improvise on the spot. Having a personal commercial ready in your back pocket that highlights your value will improve your interviews and overall job search. It’s probably your most frequently delivered marketing tool, so take time to master your personal introduction. Make sure it’s attention grabbing and accurately conveys your expertise and unique strengths.

3. Keep Networking

This step goes far beyond the holiday season, as networking should continue throughout your career, not just when you’re in job search mode. Your network is a valuable long-term professional development tool. It takes time to build, but it’s well worth it. Your network is how you gain intel, referrals, and access to the hidden job market.

Successful job seekers create a comprehensive written networking plan of their contacts and referrals. Identify the people in your network and keep a running tally of your interactions with them. Once you’ve identified your contacts, proactively connect and stay in touch periodically, not just when you need something from them.

Your networking plan provides a path to ultimately uncover career opportunities, get on an employer’s radar, and gain a place of priority over other candidates. Expanding your professional network is worth investing in so make it a priority this season.

4. Manage Your Job Search and Marketing Plan

Job search is tough and there’s a lot to keep track of throughout the process. It can be overwhelming to keep everything straight. This is where a marketing plan comes in handy. Don’t approach job search haphazardly. Take control by developing a plan upfront that provides direction for daily job search activities to stay organized and focused on your objective. Having a plan in place will ensure you don’t fall victim to watching that holiday movie you’ve already seen a million times when you should be working on your job search.

If you haven’t put together your plan yet, start now by identifying your skills and experience. Then identify industries and specific companies that value your skillset. And finally target and contact those employers. Keep in mind, your marketing plan is a work in progress. Add companies as you go and remove those that you realize aren’t the right fit. Set daily and weekly to do’s as simple as when to follow up with a recruiter. It helps keep your job search moving forward and prevents things from falling through the cracks. So manage your job search to increase the chance that you spend your time, energy, and resources on activities that lead to opportunities.

These steps may not sound groundbreaking, but the fact of the matter is, many job seekers don’t do these things. If you manage your marketing and networking plans, and continue to refine your resume and elevator speech, you’ll be ahead of the competition—especially those who give up on their job search this season.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 10:42 am

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