Sleigh Your Cleared Job Search and Unwrap Opportunities this Holiday Season

Posted by Ashley Jones

With Thanksgiving feasts on the horizon and holiday decorations multiplying each day, the idea of taking a breather from your cleared job search might sound pretty appealing. However, contrary to popular belief, November and December aren’t just about turkey and tinsel—they’re a sweet spot for boosting your cleared job prospects. So forget the myth that job search goes into hibernation during the holidays. In reality, some employers are on the hunt to fill key positions before the year wraps up.

Sure, some job processes might slow down a bit, but employers needing to fill roles will be keeping their eyes peeled for candidates who don’t lose steam. Keeping up your cleared job search tempo amid the holiday season can give you a leg up over folks who decide to send their job search on winter break. While others might be indulging in holiday treats and Hallmark movie marathons, staying in the game shows you’re the go-getter who’s not just here for a season, but for the long haul.

Make the most of the rest of the year by maintaining and upgrading your job search efforts. Consider working on these crucial job search components to make the season bright and set yourself up for cleared job search success in the New Year.

1. Conduct Industry Research

Identify and thoroughly research companies you’re interested in. Seek to uncover information about their corporate culture, mission, current job openings and more to tailor your applications effectively. The more you understand about the cleared hiring market, the better you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for and position yourself to shine in the hiring process.

To gather useful information about cleared employers, make use of job boards like ClearedJobs.Net, individual employers’ career pages and professional networks like LinkedIn. You can also get career intel from contacts in your network, or by listening to our Security Cleared Jobs: Who’s Hiring & How podcast to hear directly from cleared employers that have joined us on the show.

2. Refresh Your Resume

Customize your resume for each role you apply to, emphasizing the skills and experiences most relevant to the specific position. A targeted approach increases your chances of standing out in the applicant pool.

If you’re sharing your resume with someone in your network or attending a Cleared 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.

3. Keep Networking

First and foremost, remember that networking should continue throughout your career (and during the holiday season), not just when you’re in a job search. Your network is how you gain intel, referrals, and access to the hidden job market.

You don’t have to start from scratch with strangers to network successfully. Think about people in your network that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Be proactive this season and make it a priority to reach out, refresh, and strengthen your connections. So if you’re in the mood for a holiday treat, take a networking contact out for coffee. Or if you meet someone new at a professional networking event, be sure to follow up and nurture your new professional relationship.

4. Practice Your Elevator Pitch

Having a concise and compelling elevator pitch (or personal introduction) ready to go in your back pocket will help you impress in networking scenarios or at events like Cleared Job Fairs. It should succinctly communicate who you are as a professional and what your goals are in about 30 seconds.

Your elevator speech is an opportunity to communicate who you are, what you do, and why you’re the ideal candidate for a particular role or opportunity. Think of it as your personal commercial. Take some time this season to practice delivering it with friends and family, or in the mirror, to ensure you’ll make a lasting positive impression anytime you need to use it.

5. Improve Your Skill Set

If you do find that things are slowing down over the holiday season, use this time to enhance your skill set through online courses, workshops, or certifications. Demonstrating a commitment to continuous learning and professional development is valuable in any job search.

6. Attend Industry Events

Consider attending Cleared Job Fairs, networking events, webinars hosted by industry experts, or a professional conference, whether in-person or virtually. While participating in any of these activities, remember to engage, ask questions, and expand your professional network by gathering contact information so you can successfully follow up afterwards.

7. Make Sure Your Online Profiles are Current

Ensure your digital profiles are up-to-date with your latest achievements. Have you logged in to your ClearedJobs.Net job seeker profile lately? Make sure your profile is filled out completely and your most recent version of your resume is uploaded.

Don’t forget to check any other professional profiles you may have such as LinkedIn. And if you use social media like Facebook for instance, make sure your profiles are locked down and professional. Think about what potential employers will see if they Google you.

8. Leverage Mock Interviews

Ask a friend to run you through a mock interview so you can practice your interview skills. Think about common interview questions you’ll likely encounter and practice how you’d like to respond. Sample questions might include broad questions like, “tell me about yourself,” to more specific questions a recruiter may ask you about the salary range you’re looking for.

Use the feedback you gain to refine your responses and build confidence. Practice doesn’t have to make perfect, but it does make progress.

9. Seek Out Informational Interviews

The holidays are a great time for connecting with targeted individuals for informational or networking interviews. Informational interviews are about learning and gathering information, while also expanding your network. A 20-minute coffee or face-to-face meeting is your best bet. But if someone will only talk to you via phone or Zoom, don’t turn down the opportunity.

10. Manage Your Job Search and Marketing Plan

There’s a lot to keep track of throughout your cleared job search, and 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.

Your job search schedule can even include specific time blocks for tasks like research, applications, networking, and professional development. This will ensure you stay organized and focused on your job search goals.

As the year winds down, don’t let your cleared job search hibernate. By staying committed to industry research, refreshing your resume, nurturing your network, and managing your job search strategically, you’ll position yourself for success and unwrap the gift of a new cleared job opportunity.


  • Ashley Jones

    Ashley Jones is ClearedJobs.Net's blog Editor and a cleared job search expert, dedicated to helping security-cleared job seekers and employers navigate job search and recruitment challenges. With in-depth experience assisting cleared job seekers and transitioning military personnel at in-person and virtual Cleared Job Fairs and military base hiring events, Ashley has a deep understanding of the unique needs of the cleared community. She is also the Editor of ClearedJobs.Net's job search podcast, Security Cleared Jobs: Who's Hiring & How.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 10:46 am

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