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Job Search tips for the Christmas Holidays

by Julian Briggs in Career Insights 19/12/2019 0 comments
Job Search tips

64% of people look for a career move in January. Similarly January & February is one of the best times to get hired. Check out our Job Search tips for the Christmas Holidays & boost your career search…

64% of people look for a career move in January. Similarly January & February is one of the best times to get hired. Check out our Job Search tips for the Christmas Holidays & boost your career search…

It’s a fact, the majority of people start looking for a new job in January. 64% according to an article in the telegraph, published in January 2019. Equally January and February are probably the best times of year to get hired, in most industry sectors. With this in mind, if you’re one of the 64% looking for a new job, in the new year, you’ve picked a good time for your career search. On the other hand, whilst the job market is buoyant in the new year, the available talent pool is also at its greatest. Consequently competition is high.

Our job search tips for the Christmas Holiday gives you advice on how to get ahead of the competition, by using the Christmas holiday to boost your new years job search.

Intro

There’s many reasons why people look for a career move in the new year. Whether they’ve disgraced themselves at the Christmas party, they’re bored in their current role or perhaps just don’t like their manager. Others may have seen an opportunity for career progression in their current company, and want to go for it in the new year.

For this article the reasons you’re looking for a career move in the new year, are less relevant than the actions you take.

There’s a difference between deciding you want to look for a new job, and deciding you want to find your next career move. Successful people know this and demonstrate it in their actions. When I say successful, it’s up to you to decide what success looks like. You may want career progression; you may view success as a better work life balance. However, one of the key traits of successful people is the fact they have a plan.

So to help you make your plan, here’s our job search tips for the Christmas Holidays.

#1 Use your time off at Christmas wisely

Most of us get a fair amount of time off over the festive break. But do we use it wisely? It’s easy, and let’s be honest can be a needed release, to spend the Christmas break drinking, eating and being merry. We all need a break right. At Christmas there’s so much going on, the time off can disappear in a blur of overindulgence. After all that’s what new years resolutions are for. Enjoy Christmas and start a fresh in the new year.

Firstly, there’s nothing wrong with thinking like this. We all deserve a break and let’s be fair Christmas is a social time. Often that means rushing around visiting friends and family. A few too many drinks, overeating and possibly recovering on the sofa in front of Christmas TV. Before you know it, the holidays are over and it’s the night before you’re due back to work.

And then you think…

I really don’t want to go back to work. I’ve got to look for a new job this year.

The flip side of this is those who achieve great success in their careers and personal life. Perhaps they’re more motivated and disciplined than the rest of us. Maybe they just can’t let their hair down. But these people use the Christmas time off wisely. They take actions that improve their careers, themselves and ultimately their lives.

Of course, I’m sure they enjoy the holidays too, but they also use their Christmas time off wisely. So, what can we learn from them?

#2 Set goals & create a plan

As already mentioned, there’s a difference between looking for a new job, and looking for a career move. To try to explain this, looking for a new job tends to focus on the here and now. Therefore you’re looking for a similar role, to the one you already have, but with a new employer. There’s nothing wrong with this and can actually benefit your long term career goals. Especially early on in your career. i.e. giving you experience of how other companies operate in your current role, can equip you with additional knowledge and skills, that benefit your future career prospects.

However looking for a career move focuses on looking for roles that will help you reach your long term career aspirations. Therefore planing a career move requires a more strategic thought process, and may take more than just one job move to get you where you want to be.

Write a list of career goals.

Psychologically, writing a plan that sets out your objectives makes it real and helps motivate you to focus on achieving your goals.

Setting career goals

Start by creating a list of career goals, and what you want to achieve long term. Then break it down to what you can achieve next year.

Successful people don’t sit there with their fingers crossed, they set goals and create a plan. Psychologically, writing a plan setting out your objectives makes it real. Better still share it with someone. Ultimately writing down or sharing your aspirations with someone else will help motivate you to focus on achieving your career goals.

#3 Update your CV

As covered already, if you’re looking for a new job in the new year, it’s a great time. As well as being a buoyant job market it’s also a time when lots of others are looking for a career move too. Therefore you’ll want your CV to stand out. Updating it last minute might not cut the mustard.

Beat the Bots! They could terminate your job application before it’s seen by a human…

CV Tips

Your CV is often the first impression you’ll make on the reader. You will be judged on it! Therefore rushing out an updated CV is never going to be as good as a spending time updating it properly. As someone who sees a lot of CV’s take it from me, there’s nothing worse than reading a CV that’s obviously had very little effort in being put together. At best it shows a lack of commitment to the role being applied for. At worst it makes the writer look lazy. Either way it doesn’t make the best first impression.

If your serious about your next career move, take advantage of the Christmas holiday and give your CV a serious overhaul. Stay away from dull cliches that appear on many CV’s like:

  • A self motivated individual who can work independently using their own initiative or equally as well as part of a team
  • A committed, hard working professional prepared to go the extra mile

Instead give achievement based examples that demonstrate your successes working as a team player. Add another that gives an example of when you used your own initiative. Provide examples that prove you’re committed, hardworking and prepared to go the extra mile.

Before writing your CV, plan what you want to get across, that will nail your next job application. List your achievements and the value of your work to that business. Don’t just add your latest job entry, review the whole of your CV. If you have a long career track record edit down the earlier parts, focusing on the key achievements, and give more space to your most recent roles and successes.

Finally before you write your new CV, read my tips on writing a CV for successful online job applications. The format you use and the content in your CV is vitally important to get right. Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a major role in recruitment today. If your CV doesn’t fit the template of the robots then your application may never reach the human eye.

#4 Update your Social Media profiles

Whether you’re one of the 64% actively looking for a career change in the new year, or you’re a passively interested in being head hunted in the future, having a strong social media presence is key to your success.

Your updated CV is great, and has caught the eye of the recruiter or hiring manager you’ve sent it to.

However before they contact you, it’s likely they’ll check out your social media profiles.

The recruitment process, is all about whittling down the applicants to a shortlist and ultimately the chosen one.

92% of recruiters, & hiring managers, look at candidates social media profiles. The most common one being LinkedIn

Therefore its important your social media activity doesn’t let you down. If it does you could end up in the rejected applicants pile.

92% of recruiters and hiring managers look at candidates social media profiles. LinkedIn’s evolution from a business networking site to recruitment platform is obvious to most, apart from those who haven’t kept up. Unsurprisingly LinkedIn is the most common social media site viewed. Over 87% of recruiters who use social media looked primarily at LinkedIn. Facebook and Twitter are next at 55% and 47% respectively. The least looked at social media pages are Instagram (13%) and Snapchat (3%).

Make sure your LinkedIn profile mirrors your CV. If your other social media sites have posts that could harm your application, make them private.

#5 Hit the January Sales

Successful people tend to be forward thinking people. If you’re looking for a new job, or going for that promotion in the new year, you’re going to want to look the part. Be forward thinking – hit the January sales and pick up some new clothes for interviews.

There’s a saying…

“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”

The reality is we’re constantly being judged by everyone around us. It’s a fact whether you like it or not. And lets be honest we’re also judging others. How you dress at work, or for an interview, gives off signals. How you view the environment, how much respect you have for yourself and for work. Which groups you identify with, and where you think you fit in.

Therefore by dressing like the group you aspire to be a part of, rather than the one you’re currently in, you’ll send out signals that you really belong in that group.

To hammer the point home, if you can’t dress yourself properly you’ll give the impression you can’t do much else properly. Often the view of Management is if you can’t handle the simple things, you’re not capable of handling the larger ones.

So dress for success, hit the January sales and pick up some bargains.

#6 Research your Job Search

The new year motivates the majority to look for a career move. To beat the competition, and stand out from the other 64%, research your job search.

Job search tips

Using recruitment advertising for your job search is at best a gamble. Its a saturated recruitment method, with numerous online job sites / platforms that get huge response rates. Unfortunately often with very little relevance.

Of course I’m not suggesting you dismiss applying for jobs online entirely. However you should definitely not make it your sole focus for getting your next job.  Here’s a few reasons why:

  • It’s estimated that only 40% of jobs are advertised
  • 75% of CV’s are dismissed by automated software 
  • There’s a 0.5-1% chance of getting an interview from a single application

(Stats courtesy of Careers Wiki and Jo Green Coaching websites) 

Instead spend time researching your job search.

Find companies your’re interested in and see if you have, or can find a senior contact within the business, or the department your most relevant for. If you can’t find an email address for them, if you’ve got their name, go old school. Write to them.

Research recruitment firms that specialist in you market sector. Don’t just send them all your CV, speak to them and find out exactly how they work, and what they’ll do for you.

The way recruiters work differs, some are more strategic others adopt a scatter gun approach. It’s likely you’ll prefer a certain approach. Make sure you’re comfortable, and agree a plan for your job search, with your chosen recruitment consultancy.

If you’re desperately seeking a new role, then you can always upload your CV to online jobs boards. Just be aware you’ll lose control of your job search, and your CV is likely to be downloaded by every Tom, Dick and Harry.

#7 Take time out to chill

If you’re going to seriously look for a career change in the new year, take time out to chill over the holidays. Use the festive break to relax and reinvigorate yourself. Starting the new year feeling fresh and re-energized, along with our other tips for the Christmas holidays, will help your career search.

Christmas is a great time of year, but for those of us less disciplined than others, it can be exhausting. Leaving us needing a holiday, to get over the Christmas festivities.

Whatever your plans are for Christmas and the New Year, have a great one.

If you’d like to discuss your career aspirations, and find out more about how we can help you achieve your goals, please get in touch.

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