Job Searching over the Holiday Season

There is always a heavy focus on getting a new career in the New Year, but that doesn’t mean you need to put your job search on ice! While some job seekers may see this as an opportunity to take a break over the festive period, you can still be productive over the next few weeks. Most proactive managers will turn their attention to recruitment to make sure they have the best new employees ready to get going! Now is the ideal time to search for jobs, prepare applications and perfect your interview skills. Here are some top tips on how you can maximise your job search over the next few weeks and to ensure you sparkle at your interview.

How effective is your CV?

If you are waiting until the New Year to produce a strong, achievement focussed CV you could be losing precious time. On average most professionals make 3-4 attempts at creating a CV before they are happy with the finished document. Updating your CV over the next few weeks ensures you are ready for new opportunities.  With every new opportunity you need to ensure your CV is tailored for each position. Make sure your CV glitters with achievements and where you add value to the companies. You may also find this time of year is less competitive if other job seekers take their foot off the gas, giving you a higher chance of securing an interview. Whilst you will be looking to start a new position, people will also leave jobs in the New Year.

Recruiters will run special offers for employers to encourage them to take on new staff, such as cut price fees if the candidate starts in December or the first week of January and a longer guarantee that if the candidate is not for the business they will get their fee back: a popular one is a 100 day guarantee. This ensures those employers who are aware they may need to expand their staffing are recruiting and hiring over what most people believe to be a quiet time with quite a quick turnaround.

Temporary to Permanent Contracts

Retailers, logistics companies, food manufacturing and the NHS are just a few industries where Christmas is their peak time of year. There may be an additional need for resources to cover holiday or sickness for short term cover, this is the benefit of using temporary staff through a recruitment agency. Recruiters need job seekers at short notice, so if you are available for both interim and permanent contracts, identify recruiters in your geographical locations and talk to them today. They may be to consider candidates with less experience due to the need to hire quickly.  Many companies must spend any remaining company budget, therefore they may consider temp to perm contracts and spend the money they have left in their hiring budget at the end of the year. If they don’t, they could lose that amount as part of next year’s funds. Certain companies will also be given a budget for temporary staff over the festive season.

The benefits of working in a temporary role are not just financial, it is also a perfect opportunity for you to network with new employers. They may have permanent requirements in the New Year in other functions of their business. Additionally recruiters are more likely to work with you if you have delivered on a successful contract and they have confidence in your abilities. Good relationships can be formed if you are able to demonstrate your flexibility and reliability at short notice. If you are thinking of changing career in the New Year, this is a perfect opportunity to experience different organisations and roles.

Online Job Boards

Online job boards are still going to be available to use over the Christmas season, so ensure your CV is uploaded to job boards and you have registered for email alerts. Take advantage of the festive spirit and talk to key contacts now by following up on your applications and showcasing your personality. If there is less competition you may find recruiters or HR teams are proactively using these job boards ahead of the New Year and are keen to speak with new talent. If they are experiencing a “quieter period” they may have more time to contact you or meet with you in person putting you in the strongest position for the New Year ahead. Be mindful of closing dates and save your applications as you could be interviewed at short notice.  By being active on job boards over the festive period will increase your chances of being found by recruiters and employers.

LinkedIn

How up to date is your LinkedIn profile, and does it reflect what you want to be seen as? Now is the perfect time of year to consider your personal brand. Optimise your headline; this is the first area recruiters or employers will see. It should include job titles and/or areas of expertise for example Finance Director/Head of Finance. Your summary should showcase who you are and what you do. It should be concise and give a clear overview of your professional experience. Include your areas of expertise and keywords to ensure you are appearing on search results. LinkedIn’s search algorithm is more influenced by your skills and endorsements section than anything else in your profile. You want to choose skills that you would search under within your job search and that are reflected within job descriptions. A more complete profile will increase your visibility. Take advantage of the Christmas spirit and ask for recommendations on LinkedIn. This will provide additional credibility to your LinkedIn profile and could set you apart from other candidates.

Finally, Christmas brings parties, holidays and social gatherings so there may be an opportunity for you to network and practise your elevator pitch or your interview technique. If you haven’t created an elevator pitch, now is the time to think about what your USPs are and why should they hire you? You may also find pre-empting interview questions for roles you have applied for and perfecting your answers now will ensure you sparkle and shine at any last minute or future interviews.  Stay positive and focused over the next few weeks in order to have a productive job search over the festive period.

Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email info@renovo.uk.com