If you have been hustling at year-end to try and land a new job but haven’t closed on anything yet, don’t assume that nothing will happen these last few days of the year. Yes, it is quieter, but use the down time to your advantage. More importantly, not everyone is taking time off, so you can catch people when they’re not as busy. Finally, if your New Year’s resolution is getting a new job, you don’t have to wait till January 1 to get started. Here are five ways to keep a job search going between Christmas and New Years:
Check in with existing leads
Do not assume that decisions will not be made till next year, even if your prospects tell you decision-makers will be away. Politely check in anyway—at the very least you can build rapport by asking about the holidays, and at best, you may move things forward by reminding your prospects that you are around and available for additional meetings. Don’t forget to check in with recruiters where you have an existing relationship.
Circle back to previous leads
You may have gotten meetings or even interviews at other companies earlier in the year, but they didn’t convert to offers. When was the last time you circled back? Maybe the person they hired didn’t work out. Maybe the search was put on hold then but has now started moving again. Maybe they need even more help than expected, and your inquiry prompts them to reconsider you. Companies, just like you and me, make New Year’s resolutions (couched as business targets, but it’s the same idea). If you catch them while they’re optimistically making plans about how much will get done in 2016, you may get to be part of those plans.
Catch people you previously could not reach
You may have unsuccessfully tried to reach people earlier in the month, quarter, or year. Try again because the week between Christmas and New Years is a quiet week. The people who are working are expecting to catch up on things–make one of those things networking with you.
Use down time to research new leads
Aside from networking, you can use the quiet week to research names, contact information, and company news so that when the new year does kick off, you have a call list ready to go. Pay attention to companies with big plans for 2016–companies entering new markets or offering new products. Review your friendly contacts for people who may have recently switched companies–they can be more candid about their previous employer because they’re no longer there, and they can share strategies on their new employer since they are still in the happy, honeymoon phase. Make a particular point of checking in with your friends who have HR roles–they can tell you if their company has hiring plans for 2016, or they might have heard from HR colleagues at other companies.
Refresh your passive leads
In addition to drumming up direct leads through networking and research, use this quiet period to refresh the passive leads you may get from online platforms and job boards. Update your LinkedIn profile (use this 10-point checklist for ideas on what to update). Review your profiles on the job boards to ensure any job search filters are set to the right opportunities (industry, keywords, levels, specific company names). Upload the most current resume to the job boards and to your dream companies’ websites–you probably have changed your resume over the course of your search and didn’t remember to update everyone. This type of clean-up needs to be done, but you don’t want to lose any time during the busyness of January.