Thanksgiving to New Years is a sort of dead man’s land when it comes to hiring and finding a new job. If you’re currently employed at a place where you’re going to get a year-end bonus, but you still want a new job, don’t despair. Since things are likely to be slow in the job market anyway this time of year, postpone giving notice at your current job just a little longer.
During this time of year, you should renew old personal and professional relationships. With more time off of work and the festive atmosphere, you’re sure to be able to meet up with some of them at parties or go out for coffee. Pick up the phone and have a conversation with a few people. Text someone to see how they’re doing. Avoid telling everyone that you’re looking for a new job in your conversations. You don’t want people thinking that you’re meeting up with them just for that reason. Instead, if the opportunity presents itself, tactfully let them know you’re looking for new professional opportunities.
Additionally, it’s a good time to update your cover letter draft and resume. Did you complete any continuing education training this year? Did you present at any conferences? Are the verbs in your cover letter and resume as action-oriented as possible? Do you describe what you accomplished at your current job using numbers and other specifics? Get someone to proofread your resume and cover letter, and then find someone else to read through it. You don’t want any typos, and you want to present yourself as the candidate that brings the most to the organization.
How are you at interviewing? Have you had any practice recently? If so, what was the feedback from the employers? Get someone you know with experience interviewing people to do a mock interview with you. If you don’t know anyone, record and view yourself answering common interview questions that a friend reads to you.
During your down time during the holidays, read as much as possible on the news, blogs, on the research and about us pages on the websites of the companies you’re interested in. Look carefully at job descriptions of the position you want to make sure your resume matches up with the desired skills and experiences. Sign up for news alerts on Google for the companies that interest you and on your favorite job search sites for daily notifications of new jobs in your field. Don’t forget to check the job boards of professional associations, trade journals, and job boards dedicated just to your field.
Remember that you may not even get your bonus. A good company will let you know as soon as possible if it doesn’t have the financial means to do so, but don’t count on getting your bonus until it’s in the bank. In the meanwhile, continue to search for the right job for you, and, if you’re sure you’re going to get that bonus, and that’s all that’s holding to your current job, consider sticking it out until the New Year.