How to Overcome the Holiday Hiring Lull

Posted on November 17, 2008. Filed under: Job Search Tips | Tags: , , |

For most, the winter holidays are an enjoyable time for friends and family. However, job seekers have historically struggled during this time. They find that the volume of job advertisements and postings shrinks dramatically. Companies that had already initiated the process of finding qualified candidates tend to slow the process down.

Job seekers are usually surprised by how slow things become, and for how long! The holiday doldrums usually start in mid-November and extend through at least mid-January. That’s about 10 weeks, over 2 full months, of time that many job seekers cannot get back. For someone out of work, this can cause a significant amount of stress, to say the least, particularly because it is during a time of year that families tend to spend a large portion of their disposable income.

So Is There Any Hope?

If you find yourself having to conduct a job search during the holidays, all is not lost! As many hiring managers, HR reps, and recruiters take vacations or simply allow things to slow down, most job seekers—especially your more passive job seekers—put their job search on hold until after the New Year. This creates some opportunities for candidates that are willing to be a little more aggressive.

There are companies out there hiring. You just need to go find them. If you let them come and find you, they won’t! Even though 2010 has been a tough year for employment, there are always certain companies and industry segments on the rise.

What Can I Do?

Do what most job seekers are not willing to do, even during the “peak” hiring seasons: Cold call. I can hear you now, saying “What? I’m not a sales person!” If you are not a “natural” sales person, then change the perspective a little bit. Call yourself an investigator. Do some research on companies in your geographic market and industry for whom you would like to work. Then call them. Find out the name of the person that oversees the department you would be interested in. Try to contact that person directly, thus avoiding the standard process of going through HR, which can take way too much time, especially at this time of year.

If you want to get more tips and ideas, please check out

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