5 Ways to Keep Your Job Search Alive During the Holidays

5 Ways to Keep Your Job Search Alive During the Holidays

‘Tis the season for out-of-office messages, vacation blocks, and pauses in hiring decisions. So, I understand what you’re thinking: Evelyn, the holidays are here, my job search is on ice until January. And while the communications may come to a temporary halt, that’s no reason to lose your professional momentum or your holiday cheer.

Q1 is coming, and in case you didn’t know, that is still one of the biggest hiring time frames. The budget for the new year will be ready with room for new hires. So, whether you’ve already done your share of Zoom interviews or you’re just working up resume 2.0, now is the time to laser focus, pin-point, and strategize your job search. 

These five painless strategies will keep you motivated and prepared for what’s coming right after the holidays for more to celebrate—later. 

1. Time to update your LinkedIn.

The holidays are the perfect downtime to give your LinkedIn the update it needs to take on the new year. It’s the first place potential-hiring managers and recruiters (like me) will find you in a Google search or quick pre-interview dive through the network. Don’t be left looking unprepared or anything less than hire-worthy.More tips on refreshing your LinkedIn profile here. 

Possibly one of the most important ways to get started? That professional summary at the top needs to include a scan-worthy bio about your career, your specialties, and why your colleagues love you. It should be an informal, engaging look at you with some personality, highlight what you’re known for in the best of ways. 

Here’s an example:

Over the last decade, I’ve helped brands tell stories to build brand recognition and loyalty through a meaningful digital customer experience. From (insert employer) to (insert employer) I’ve collaborated with the industry’s best to hone my writing chops and learn how to engage for higher traffic and conversion rates and a more compelling brand. In my most recent position, I contributed to raising the email open rate and webinar attendance rates by 15% and 25% respectively. I’m not webcam-shy and I’m known for having the best Zoom backgrounds. 

Make it descriptive, fun, and make it you. This is an opportunity to stand out from the stale, dry third-person profiles. Revamp your resume while you’re at it so your personal and professional brand are ready to go across mediums.

2. Show your skills. Study up on LinkedIn Learning.

You’ve got skills, and you can show them easily right from your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn Skill Assessments let you take tests on skills to showcase your fluency. LinkedIn offers different business, design, and technical skills.

Get ready to put a gold seal—or five—of official LinkedIn approval right on your profile. And the topics are endless and perfect for any job seeker. They have a full assessment library from your Microsoft Excel savvy to your proficiency programming in Dreamweaver to your Google Analytics knowhow or even your Adobe Photoshop prowess. Do a quick scan of all the courses here.

3. Learn more while you can. 

LinkedIn Learning is a great bonus feature of a paid or paid trial account. And it goes beyond its obvious benefits, not only is it a great way to learn new skillsets, LinkedIn Learning is the perfect way to refresh your old ones. Whether you’re interviewing for your first management role in years (or ever) LinkedIn Learning has courses on everything from management styles to executive presence. And it’s a great primer before you start your next round of interviews.

Build your professional mojo in areas that are new or a little rusty for you. You’ll be able to show that you’ve completed the course at the bottom of your profile, but more importantly, you’ll be walk-on-water ready for your next set of Zoom interviews.

4. Get ready to network.

I know, the holidays aren’t the right time to enlist your network, but it is a good time to get your plans in order and put some warm, fuzzy feelers out there. This is a great time to go through your network and identify connections who might be able to give you an in or even just advise you on the next steps in your job search. Make your list, and check it twice.

If you have mailing addresses for any of the colleagues you want to get back in touch with next year, drop them a holiday card just to say hello and send them your best. This is a friendly way to get you top of mind and warm them up before reaching out formally in a few weeks to ask for a reference, that LinkedIn recommendation you’ve been wanting, or an introduction to a second connection who just so happens to be in their network. 

5. Scope out the current job market.

Even if it’s slim pickings, sorting through open positions can help you get a feel for what’s out there, and depending on the listing, the salary ranges coming into shape for the new year. Saving or applying to those potential dream jobs are great, but just taking notes from the job descriptions is helpful too. 

How? If you jot down those things you love most for skillsets and responsibilities that sound like you, it can help you finetune your LinkedIn summary and resume to make sure you have the right keywords, headings, and phrases aligned for the perfect next position.

Find a recruiter for extra Q1 momentum.

It’s always helpful to have a recruiter who is connected with hiring managers and ready to coach you through the rest of your job search. We’d love to help, contact us at Staffing Strong for extra guidance.

Meet the Author

Evelyn Vega is the Founder and President at Staffing Strong and the Past President of the Phoenix American Marketing Association. Since 1999, she’s made her career about supporting her clients in building meaningful careers and partnering with businesses in finding quality hires. In her free time, Evelyn sits on various advisory boards and enjoys practicing on her drum set!

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