Starting a job search at the end of the year is always difficult. You’re constantly inundated with last minute projects, parties, and events, which can make December seem like the absolute WORST time to continue your job hunt. But it’s actually the opposite case. Continuing your job search in December is one of the best things you can do for your career.
69% of companies place as many or even more candidates in December compared to any other month. In fact, some of the best hiring and interviewing opportunities take place in December because managers are under pressure to fill necessary roles before the New Year.
8 Reasons to Continue Your Job Search in December
While you might be tempted to sit back and relax during the holidays instead of making your job hunt a priority, that’s the last thing you want to do. Many companies hire in December while others are already on the lookout for new January employees. So, it’s important to take advantage of the myriad of opportunities open to you.
Truthfully, December might be the best month of the year for a job hunt, period! Here’s why.
1. End of Year Budget
Every company has a yearly budget. Sometimes, by December that budget has been blown to bits, and they’re already delving into next year’s budget just to survive. But, in other cases, companies come into December with left over budget to complement their Thanksgiving leftovers. In this case, companies are more than happy to spend their leftover dollars on their wish list, which often includes positions they’d like to fill but weren’t sure they could earlier in the year. This means that December could be the ideal time for high-paying and rare positions.
If you up your job search in December, you could run into companies who have extra end of the year budget to spend on positions that won’t be open in January but that they’re eager to fill now. In many cases, these job openings pay more and are for highly beneficial positions that they’d be excited to fill. Keep your eyes open for the “use it or lose it” job openings this month and make sure you come to the hiring process form a powerful position.
Also read: This is Why the Holidays are a FANTASTIC Time to Land a New Job — 3 Strategies to Get You There
2. Perfect Time to Circle Back
If you’ve been on the job hunt for a while, December is the ideal time to circle back with some of the recruiters or hiring managers who haven’t contacted you. You can send a quick email or LinkedIn message saying something like, “Hi Julie, I wanted to touch base before the new year to talk about blank position.” Reminding companies who you are before the New Year is an easy way to keep your resume at the forefront of their mind.
3. Be Social and Network
Whether you’re a social person the rest of the year or not, December requires you to be social with dozens of holiday gatherings. The good news is that these events are also the perfect time to network. As Kathy Gans, the senior vice president of Accounting Principals, told Business Insider, you can kill two birds with one stone.
“The holiday season is filled with holiday parties and events, which makes it the perfect time of year to network… Fellow party-goers may be willing to put you in touch with potential connections,” Gans said.
Every metro area is full of holiday events that you can attend to meet new people, connect with friends, and keep in touch with mentors and influencers. Don’t be afraid to attend as many social events as possible and use the job search in December as a way to build up your network.
4. Start Conversations for 2019
Even if a company isn’t hiring in December, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out now to start a conversation that could bear fruit in 2019. The sooner you get your name in front of potential employees before the New Year’s rush, the better.
5. Less Competition
If you decide to continue your job search in December, you might be one of the few individuals in the market. The reality is that most people quit their job hunt before the holidays, which means you could have a leg up on the competition. That’s how Glassdoor sales recruiter Bree Silveira says that you can beat others to the chase.
“The job market notoriously slows down during the holidays because lots of people are planning family vacations and trips home and are not looking to make a move until after the New Year. By staying active during this time, you are staying ahead of the competition. December is the time to take advantage of and get in front of hiring in January when companies get their new hiring budgets,” Silveira wrote on Glassdoor.
By showing your tenacity in the job market in December, not only will you impress potential employers, but you’ll also take advantage of a decrease in other candidates, which will help your resume stand out.
Also read: Your Guide to Taking the Pain out of 3 Holiday Networking Scenarios | Networking for Success Series
6. Build Connections Through Volunteering
December is one of the best times of year for volunteering. This means that you have many opportunities to network outside the traditional event scene. Not only does volunteering give you more chances to build connections, but you can do so while doing good and building your resume.
Just remember, the first goal of volunteering should be to help others, so keep that in mind. But don’t be afraid to use your volunteering efforts to beef up your job search in December by networking while you’re at the soup kitchen and sharing your experiences on LinkedIn, in your resume, and during December interviews.
7. More Time to Communicate
December is a big month for vacations, time off, and decreased hours. So, you might think it’s a horrible time to try and get in touch with anyone, but that’s not the case. While many people do take time off, that can mean that managers have less on their plate and so more time to pay attention to your emails, phone calls, and resume submissions.
Take this time to reach out to hiring managers and executives at companies you’re interested in. You’ll be much more likely to get a response in December when things are slower than in January when 2019 kicks off full steam ahead. Here’s some advice on writing a cold email about a job opening.
8. Performance Review Time
Just as you get your performance review in December, so do hiring managers. This means that they have incentive to look better and to achieve their own goals by filling job openings before the New Year. So, there’s extra incentive for managers to schedule interviews and make job offers in December to demonstrate their own accomplishments.
Continuing your job search in December is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. Companies want to hear from you, and your competition is nowhere to be found. Just remember to be smart.
- Do look for job openings that use leftover 2018 budget dollars.
- Don’t be afraid to circle back with hiring managers and recruiters before the New Year.
- Do attend as many holiday gatherings as possible and network while you’re being social.
- Don’t wait to start job conversations in 2019. Get a jump-start by beginning communications in December.
- Do get your resume out there while there’s less competition for the jobs you want.
- Don’t get so caught up in the job search in December that you forget to volunteer and help others. Who knows, it could help you land a new job.
- Do reach out to companies in December when hiring managers have more time to respond to your communication.
- Don’t forget that hiring managers also have end-of-the-year performance reviews and they need to look good by filing job openings before 2019.