Of all the ways you hope to spend Christmas, job hunting is likely not one of them. But if you’re a jobseeker, Christmas could be the most effective time to apply for a new job.
In today’s world, job competition is fierce. With 77 per cent of people saying they would be willing to work on Christmas Day if it secured them a new job, those willing to sacrifice some time to stay ahead succeed. The best advice to jobseekers in the run up to Christmas is to stay in the loop and not let your job search lose momentum.
Christmas offers a golden opportunity for the proactive jobseeker. A recent survey by reed.co.uk* reveals that just over half of jobseekers believe that companies and recruiters are less likely to read job applications over the Christmas period. But in fact many employers are actively looking for employees. According to Katie Edwards of media recruitment agency PFJ:
Jobseekers are holding off looking until the New Year and employers are using up the rest of their headcount for the year, so there are far more jobs than candidates before Christmas.
While other jobseekers are cooling their heels in the run up to Christmas, here’s why you should be actively pursuing new opportunities:
1) People are still working:
Many jobseekers postpone submitting applications until the new year, believing their CV will languish in an unattended inbox if sent over Christmas. In truth, 33 per cent of employees will be in work this Christmas and a further 10 per cent will be working from home. Even on Christmas Day your application may well be read, with 56 per cent of workers expecting to check their emails on December 25th.
Many job sites will forward your application to a recruitment agency or a general company email that, with fewer personnel on hand, may not get regularly checked. Instead, skip the middleman. Once you find a job that’s a good fit, do a little research online before sending your application to email addresses that will land your CV under the right noses.
2) More jobs around than you think:
Christmas may fail to bring snow but it will likely bring a flurry of new job opportunities. With thoughts spanning to future business ventures and new budgets being defined, Christmas is often a time when employers look to use up additional headcount or hire new staff in order to meet upcoming goals.
Job sites are a great source of new, exciting opportunities but if used incorrectly they can eat up your time and may leave you feeling overwhelmed. Make job sites work for you by applying filters to your search terms. With advance options, you can tailor your results to show only jobs within the area, pay scale and schedule you’re looking for.
3) Less competition:
With over half of jobseekers putting their employment search on hold until the new year, competition for jobs is at a yearly low. Headhunter, Martin Ellis, advises making the most of the opportunity – before someone else does:
It’s a competitive world out there, and if you’re taking time out to let the days drift by, there will be others beavering away to take advantage of your lethargy
With the Internet delivering a constant stream of employment opportunities around the clock, jobseekers have to move fast if they want to secure their ideal job. Even if your perfect job doesn’t pop up over Christmas, spending time brushing up on key job skills can put you ahead of the game. According to reed.co.uk Marketing Director Mark Rhodes:
For those willing to go the extra distance, Christmas is the time to focus on your job search, tidy up your CV and polish your interview skills before the January rush.
4) More technology equals higher efficiency:
Online job listings, careers sections on company websites, job opportunities delivered straight to your inbox and accessed on the go via your smartphone – technology has revolutionised job searching.
Recent graduate Harriet McWilliams employs technology to find relevant opportunities and also valuable future contacts:
Through the brief experience I have had during internships or looking for a job I have come to the conclusion that it is most certainly more who you know than what you know. Gaining a large network consisting of a variety of people is important, as even if some of these people may not be specifically relevant to you they may have knowledge or contracts that are.
By adopting a tech-based approach, you can greatly improve the efficiency of your job search, leaving you more time to enjoy Christmas with family and friends. Harriet explains:
Overall, I have found technology not only makes my search for jobs around the Christmas period more efficient, but also enables me to reach a larger and more targeted audience.
Will you be stopping your job search over the festive period? Let us know in the comments below!
(*Online survey of 1,254 on attitudes to working at Christmas, conducted by reed.co.uk in November, 2013)
Author: Anneke Lombard of Reed.