by Sandra McCartt
Job searching during the holidays is best summed up as the best of times and the worst of times. Here’s why: Nobody really wants to change jobs during the holidays. They have unused vacation time, a possible Christmas bonus, family plans, kid’s holiday activities , shopping, ski trips, hunting trips. So if you send your resume someplace don’t expect to hear back very quickly. Which makes it the worst of times. Unless….
The CFO gives notice the day after Thanksgiving because she wants to spend Christmas with her family in Minnesota or just got engaged and is now focused on a trip to Hawaii to get married on Christmas day on the black sand beach. If that happens HR’s first scramble is to check the applications and resumes that are on file because they have just been charged with having a new CFO on board by Jan 3 and most CFO’s give 30 days notice. Which makes it the best of times to spend the Sat. or Sunday after Thanksgiving polishing up the old resume, checking to see if your references are still alive and if they remember you. Instead of spending five hours on Facebook posting cat pictures and food porn, check the job sites, find recruiters, check company websites for their career page and get your resume submitted to be in the loop when the after Christmas rush starts. Or in the event somebody just gave notice because they are going to move as soon as school is out. Even if there is not a specific opening posted anywhere, most company career sites allow for the option to get your resume on file.
An interesting thing happens during the holidays. Hiring managers who have to be in the office the day after Thanksgiving really don’t want to start a big project so they start thinking of those things they need to do that may not have a deadline until after the first of the year, like hiring a new sales rep or looking for a person to replace Mildred the 72 year old receptionist that nobody is going to force into retirement until the week after Christmas because she still doesn’t do email and gets hostile when the phone rings.
The same thing happens the week of Christmas when those in the office are not going to launch a big project in between Christmas parties or getting over year end burnout. They will however ask for and review resumes to see if there is an attractive victim on the horizon to replace Joey the pothead who just ran the forklift off the loading dock and is being shipped off to someplace nice for 30 days the day after Christmas.
If you are thinking of making a change as part of your new year’s resolution. Get your resume updated, write an intelligent cover letter as to why you want to look at new horizons and during the commercials or while everybody in the house is hitting the Black Friday sales, get in the loop. The worst thing that can happen is that someone may call you about a position that is open next week and want you to interview now. That’s great. If it happens most people understand that you will give two weeks' notice the day after you get your Christmas bonus and be ready to start on Jan 2.
If you are looking now , unemployed and want a full time job. Call the temp agencies. Many employers need perm employees but no budget until after the first of the year. They can hire on a temp basis and pull thetrigger to hire you perm when the new budget hits the department on Jan. 2.
Actually, the holidays are one of the best times to look for a new position because most people are in a better mood and have or make the time to interview between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Happy turkey day and happy hunting. I will offer some resume tips and interview tips in future issues and share some stories of what to do and what not to do.
Sandra McCartt is the owner of Professional Search, Inc.