Holiday Job Search Tips & How to Combat the Holiday Blues

If you haven’t noticed it yet, the shelves in retail stores are piling up with holiday merchandise and advertising. We are getting swamped with tinsel and xmas decorations and before you know it, it’ll be 2015.

Is all that you want for Christmas, Hanukkah or Pancha Ganapati is to get a job?

The holidays – love or hate them – happen every year, and they tend to slow down many job-seekers’ pursuits to find a job until the New Year begins. We aren’t swayed by reindeer and tell our job hunting clients to tackle the “silly season“ head on.

You might think it is a waste of time to job hunt during a time when many people have anything but work on their minds. Our team here at The Job Search Coach knows one of the great secrets of job hunting is that the holiday season – the time between mid November and the end of January  –  is a great opportunity to search for a new job.  

We always coach our clients to search smarter – not harder. The holiday season is the perfect time to do just that. Now is the time to develop your network, uncover new job leads, clink glasses and get job interviews in the pipeline.


The TOP 5 Holiday Job Search Depression Butt Nippers


#1 Step up your Action Plan

Contrary to misguided beliefs, the holiday season is an excellent time of year to be aggressive in your networking, job search and interviews cultivation.

Many decision makers do put off hiring as long as possible but at this time of year they are often under pressure to fill vacant roles before budgets expire. They also prefer to have the new hire signed, sealed, and on-board before January 1.

Also, consider this. As the holidays draw near, decision makers are more likely to be in a jovial mood; you can complement this by being upbeat and offering novel solutions to pressing challenges.

 #2 Re-jig your Job Search Action Plan

…and your resume and make changes based on the results they generated up until now. There are a number of reasons for doing this. One reason is that in order to change your resume you must first rethink your accomplishments and re-evaluate what you have to offer. I suggest doing this exercise along with someone else. By doing this you should regain some lost confidence by restating your intrinsic value to a new employer. As you do this you’ll begin to see the problem is not you. Another reason is that this will refresh your big picture perspective.

For example, you may want to alter your approach based on the current market. Perhaps retraining would be beneficial or leveraging an altogether different skill that has been waiting in the wings is appropriate.

If you are switched on, you will come up with a new and more charismatic way to present yourself in a new resume or maybe even a video resume. Just like the confidence you gain when you don a new outfit that fits you to a tee and that exudes an image that says WINNER, you will get the same emotional lift and reinvigorate your job search with a stylish new professional job hunter marketing portfolio. We can help you with the portfolio.

#3 Network, Network and Network some more.

An increasingly high number of people our Job Search Coaching team comes in contact with are uncomfortable networking with people from their past because they think they’ll be perceived as being insincere and self-serving. I consider this misguided, but it is understandable.

What’s great is that even if you have not spoken with a potential helpful contact since the beginning of last year, or even for one, two, or ten years, this time of year is nostalgic; getting a shout out from an old friend or business acquaintance will be looked at as a sincere effort. So reach out and extend best wishes and catch up on old times with everyone you know since you began your career. I always say – it’s not who you know, it’s who wants to know you, and you will be surprised how many people are open to re-connecting.

If you begin the conversation with genuine interest and sincere inquiry into how their life has progressed since you last spoke, and slip in an offering to help them in their career or personal endeavours (e.g. LinkedIn recommendation or an intro to someone in your network) you will have social license to ask them to help you without feeling guilty and, more than likely, you will get a positive response.

 #4 Apply some Holiday Carpe Diem. 

Use holiday get-togethers with family and friends to seek out job leads.

I know it sounds a bit pushy, but it works. The people closest to you have your best interests at heart and, if you allow them, they will assist you in uncovering potential leads to new jobs. Just ensure to avoid stalking or pestering. Don’t expect them to be able to hire you, but do be honest about your current situation and the type of job you seek. Acting as your agents, they might surprise you with the job leads they uncover for you.

 #5 Oldie but Goodie: Holiday Cards

Send out holiday cards. I am not kidding.

Yes, it’s a bit 80’s and 90’s, so feel free to use the electronic versions. Sending simple and tasteful holiday cards are a great way to follow up with recruiters and hiring managers and to reconnect with more distant contacts like former bosses, co-workers, customers, and suppliers. Be sure to include a personalized note, along with your networking details – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Remember political correctness here – just send holiday cards, not Christmas cards.

Wrapping up (pun intended)

The holidays can be a time of distraction and depression for many job seekers. You can choose to do what everyone else does and sulk away, or you can take these suggestions seriously and improve your chances of 2015 being a year to remember. Search smarter – not harder and remember to hunt wisely!


Ps. If you know a job hunter in your professional or private social or direct network – reach out and do something good – start by sharing this blog post and ask how they are doing… – sharing is caring !