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employment compass

Career Hacker: Holidays are a great time to look for a job

November 18, 2014
By Lisa Dare

Job seekers cherish the timeworn notion that hiring takes a long break for the holiday season. But what if that’s not the case—what if November and December are the best times to apply for a job in IT?

As it happens, most hiring managers don’t give up on the whole shebang on Nov. 1. While few mass hiring cycles take place during holiday months, many managers are looking to make individual IT hires for a number of reasons:

  • A person filling a mission-critical position is departing
  • An open position needs to be filled or a department will lose the funding
  • Managers needing to spend down budgets before year-end can afford recruiting fees
  • Departments can invest time in recruiting efforts because other work has slowed down

In many cases, hiring managers report having open positions to fill—but few candidates looking for work. This means job seekers face a lot less competition, something that can really benefit less traditional workers such as people making career changes or returning from long breaks. With fewer applicants to consider, hiring managers aren't looking to pare down a long list of candidates.

Finding advantages

The holiday season presents an abundance of networking opportunities. IT user groups, professional associations and many recruiters have parties. Go, enjoy, network! These are a great chance to reconnect with colleagues. Heck, even your partner’s work party that you’ve been dreading is a great chance to connect with potential new colleagues. You don’t need to actively advertise if you’re working, but if you find people in similar fields, try striking up a connection you can follow up on later, perhaps on LinkedIn.

Another reason not to give up shopping for jobs during the holiday period? Just like you want to shop early to beat the holiday shopping rush, you should work on your job search ahead of the January rush.  Unless you’re the kind of person who gets up early on New Year’s Day (aren’t we all?) to update your resume, write cover letters, find jobs and apply for them, then keep up your work in December. You don’t necessarily want to submit materials on the major holidays, but try a day or two later. 

What now? 

Get your resume and cover letter in shape!

Lisa Dare is a marketing writer for TEKsystems who enjoys learning about IT from some of the smartest folks in tech. She frequently blogs about IT career advice and the lighter side of tech, and on her off days loves to kayak and play with her toddler son.

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