Monday, November 21, 2011

Holiday Job Hunting

The holidays are a busy time for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you should put your job search on hold. In fact, Thanksgiving through New Year's presents many unique advantages that aren’t available at any other time of year.

For 15 years, ever since I read “You Might Be Able to Get a New Job for Christmas” in the Wall Street Journal, I’ve been trying to debunk the myth that job hunting is futile after Thanksgiving. As the article notes, “In reality, job hunting can be easier during the holidays.”

Though the job market has changed during that decade and a half, holiday job-hunting realities have not. Just last December, when the economy was in the early stages of recovery, US News and World Report called the holidays “primo networking time” and a “golden opportunity”. This is especially true for quantitative candidates. Here’s why:

You’re in demand — Our clients have openings and are hungry for the best quantitative candidates, and that hunger does not let up over the holidays.

Candidate volume is lower — Because most people erroneously believe that the holidays are a bad time to job hunt, they put their resumes away until after the New Year. Fewer inappropriate resumes flooding decision makers’ desks mean that yours is more likely to get the attention it deserves.

Hiring managers are under pressure to be fully staffed by year end — Often, departmental budgets that have made room for new hires will evaporate at the end of the calendar year, so hiring managers feel pressure to use it or lose it.

Companies want key players in place to jump-start the New Year — Most of the strategic planning has been done for the next 12 months, and department heads want their teams set and ready to implement those initiatives in January.

A general business slow down means more time — for you and for hiring mangers. Fewer work pressures mean that hiring managers can concentrate on you. A more lax schedule means more time for you to arrange interviews discretely, without interfering with deadlines.

Offices tend to be more casual and welcoming — People are generally in a happier, more generous mood at this time of year. Take advantage of the holiday spirit.

Perhaps the most important reason to start now is that the job boards and HR inboxes will be flooded with resumes after the first of the year. Don’t squander six weeks of prime interviewing time only to have your job hunt buried in a tsunami of New Year's resolve. Use this joyful time of the year to your advantage. And if we can help you plan your holiday strategy, please let us know.