What Should Your Job Search Look Like at the End of the Year?

Hiring speeds up or slows down at the end of the year depending on whom you talk to about the process. Some people will say that companies try to make their hires before New Year. Others will tell you that hiring slows down because everyone is out of the office.

The truth is that the speed of hiring at the end of the year depends on the specific position and company. Some companies will try to get certain positions filled before the end of the year. Others may not rush to get someone in the door until after the holidays.

“As an executive recruiter, I can tell you that some clients slow things down over the holidays ... while others try to speed things up and get new members on board before year-end,” wrote Heather Spiegel.

As a job seeker, you can’t control how quickly companies make hiring decisions. Instead, it’s important to focus on what you can control, such as your job search intensity and strategy.

Should you take a holiday break from job searching?

Before we dive too far into techniques for holiday job searches, it’s important to talk about something that you’ll likely be confronted with as a job seeker during this time of year. Specifically, taking time off from your job search.

Well-meaning family and friends may suggest you take a break from your job search until the New Year. While that is a kind suggestion, the reality is that a long break can cost you.

As we discussed above, companies are still making hires even at the end of the year. A long break from job searching may mean that you miss out on those opportunities — especially if the application process for a position opens up before the end of the year.

The caveat to all of this is that you should take breaks when needed. Looking for work is difficult… work. Any person who pushes themselves to exhaustion will not produce results. You’ll only hurt your odds of getting hired if you try to push through a job search when you can’t focus or pay attention to what’s important.

Take necessary breaks, but don’t remove yourself from the process altogether.

“The market for job seekers is great right now,” wrote Jessica Hernandez, who is president and CEO of Great Resumes Fast. “Perhaps a balance throughout the rest of the year is a good goal. Consistently invest time into your job search by not stopping completely but also taking a few days to enjoy time with family and friends.”

Related Article: Job Searching During the Holidays

Should you continue job searching at full steam?

Hernandez is right. The latest report from the United States showed that a near-record number of people quit their jobs in October. Also, data from the same time showed that the number of job openings in the country increased to roughly 11 million. The numbers show that people are feeling empowered to make some moves and that there are jobs available. 

“With so many companies actively recruiting why not take advantage of this job market,” wrote Jay Colan, who is a career coach. “Beat out those who take time off to begin or resume their search in January. With the new budget year starting in a few weeks managers will be hiring in the first month or two. Be in front of them now to engage them for that January or February hire.”

Despite the signals suggesting it’s a healthy market for job seekers, remember that it doesn’t mean everyone is getting hired for any job they want. You’re still subject to an infinite number of factors that can affect your odds of being hired.

What if your job search seems to be slowing down on its own?

Regardless of the effort that you’re putting into your job search, you may feel that your job search is moving along at a glacial pace. Perhaps you’re not hearing back from as many potential employers. You may have to wait longer to hear back from recruiters or hiring managers. You’re not alone if that’s how you feel.

Fortunately, there are still things you can control to keep your job search moving in the right direction. 

“My observation being on ‘the other side of the desk’ as a retained recruiter is that this is a grand time to expand your network,” wrote Bernadette Pawlik, who is a career strategist at Coffee & Consult. “As a career strategist, I always recommend people use this time to reach out to people with whom they have lost touch to wish them well for the coming year, ask what is up with them and offer to help them in any way, then advise them of your status.”

Networking is one of the most important elements of a successful career and job search. While many people think their focus should be on connecting with new people, it’s also important to rekindle connections with friends and family.

“I hope job seekers continue to reach out to people they know and wish them a happy holiday,” wrote Hannah Morgan, who is a job search strategist at CareerSherpa.net.



Career Transition