Don’t Slow Down Your Job Search During the Holidays

The holidays can be an ideal time to amplify your job search efforts. (Photo by Chris/tsuaccnt)

Conventional wisdom says there’s no worse time to search for a job than when the year is winding down. With hiring managers preparing for vacation, companies finishing up year-end projects, and workers focusing more on the office holiday party than the job at hand, is there any hope of landing a new design gig now?

Actually, there is. In fact, the end of the year might be one of the best times to step up your search. Here are five reasons you may find a job to feel jolly about in the coming months:

  1. There’s less competition. Many job seekers halt their quests for employment in November and December, choosing to save their efforts for when the new year begins. But take a glimpse at the job boards, and you’ll see that employers haven’t stopped looking for creative professionals. With fewer candidates vying for a similar number of interactive and design jobs, you may have an edge over the competition. So, put down the eggnog and pick up your search—you might be pleasantly surprised.
  2. Companies have budget to spare. Some employers hire new staff at the end of the year because they haven’t used all of the funds they initially set aside for personnel. In some cases if hiring managers don’t add headcount as the year comes to a close, they risk losing that portion of their budgets and may be unable to increase the size of the creative team in the months ahead.
  3. You’ll get a jump on things. Even if some firms wait until the beginning of the year to add a new employee, that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped collecting resumes and considering candidates. By submitting your application materials now, you’ll be first in line when the hiring process gets in full swing again.
  4. It may be easier to secure an interview. Workloads tend to wane at the end of the year due to vacations and the winter holidays. As a result, hiring managers may have more time to review your resume and portfolio and call you in for an interview. They also may be more willing to sit down with you for an informational meeting.
  5. Your network needs constant care. Maintaining a solid network is an essential part of the job search. If you take a long break, some of your newer connections may be lost. Sending out customized holiday cards to your most valued contacts is a great way to keep in touch and possibly open doors to new career opportunities. Likewise, holiday parties offer the ability to meet new contacts, so try to attend all of the events that you can.

The holidays can be an ideal time to amplify your job search efforts. People are often in higher spirits, and there are plenty of opportunities, such as local industry events and soirees, where you can hobnob with a multitude of professionals, some of whom may be in a position to help you with your career. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and spread some cheer—you never know where your efforts will take you.