A helpful list of what not to do when you are searching for a job.
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Holiday Job Hunting: Fact & Fiction
The Quiz & Answers
Please indicate “Fact” or “Fiction” for each of the statements below.
1. There is less competition for jobs in December.
Fact. Competition for positions is greatly reduced because of the prevailing belief that employers don’t
hire in December. Most of your competitors will not be looking for a job this month but look out in
January! Many job seekers get offers they wouldn’t ordinarily get by looking in December.
2. There are only a few positions open in December.
Fiction. For most companies, next year’s budget is already approved. Hiring managers either want to
start the year with full staff or have requisitions for positions that begin immediately after the New
Year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys show no pattern of a drop-off in permanent hires at year-
end. In fact, most companies have the same number of openings at year-end as they do the rest of the
year but they have fewer candidates. There may also be pressure to exhaust this year’s hiring budget.
3. January is the strongest hiring month of the year.
Fact. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, January is the strongest hiring month of the year.
Remember, it’s the legwork done in November and December that puts job seekers in a better position
to snag the first-of-the-year positions.
4. Hiring managers are too busy during the holidays to do interviews.
Fiction. Fewer business trips and daylong meetings take place in December making it easier to reach
decision makers. Most managers have reached their goals and are at their desks planning for the New
Year. Managers could also have tips of positions that will open after the first of the year.
5. Calls to potential employers are not welcome during the holidays.
Fiction. For most of the year, managers strive to screen the tide of job hunters coming their way. At
year-end, however, that tide has thinned and hiring managers are in a more giving mood. The best time
to call is first thing in the morning and late afternoon. By mid-day they are likely to be roaming the
halls or taking longer lunch breaks.
6. Holiday parties are great places to get job leads.
Fact. Of course, you have to have your strategy well planned. Collect your holiday presents early by
requesting job leads and referrals from your friends. Be company and department specific in your
request naming your target company and the specific department. Get names, numbers, and permission
to mention your contact’s name in the initial call. Appearing desperate is a downer for everybody.
Engage in some relaxed conversation about job openings.
Make appointments with willing friends and acquaintances for coffee or other short social meetings to
discuss your search. Have your 90-second commercial ready along with a 60 second description of
your ideal job. (See the “Tools” handout for more information.)
7. Sending Holiday greeting cards is a waste of time.
Fiction. Use your holiday cards to update friends, associates, and family on your current status. An
upbeat note in the card will start your phone ringing. Expanding your list of card recipients will put
your name in front of more people, possibly some that you will see at holiday parties.
8. December is a good month to take time off from a job search.
Fiction. The prevailing concept is that companies don’t hire during the holidays. Fact: they do!!
Taking yourself out of the game shrinks the pool of candidates and gives someone else the edge.
9. Traveling during the holidays stops a job search.
Fiction. Okay, it’s a trick question. If you are already interviewing with a prospective employer, taking
a trip is a great reason to call the hiring manager with your contact information. Another possibility is
that your travels may take you to one of your target locations. How about calling potential employers
ahead of time to set up visits?
10. Taking a temporary holiday job is a bad idea.
Fact & Fiction. Taking a temp job to fill the dwindling coffers could be necessary. Selecting that job is
important. Many retail jobs will end after the rush and you’ve taken yourself off of the market at a
critical time. Temp jobs with companies that are on your hit list or if the work closely matches your
preferences and skills could be a great idea. Companies are hiring “temp to perm” more often these
My take on it is to STAY on the job boards but they are just one small component in a search. You need to rely on contacts, family and friends to help. You need to get your name out there. Also, get involved in things that are not necessarily job related. Maybe someone in your knitting class would work at a place that has a job opening…who knows?
There are also good networking groups out there–Acton Networkers and WIND (Wednesday is NEtworking Day) come to mind, as well as the New England Job SHow.
Stay off job boards…the number one factor accounting for double-digit increases in the average length of unemployment is the reliance on job boards.
Looks like there’s a new type of job site coming that’ll match job candidates with the best-fitting jobs and where job seekers can market themselves through rich media. The site is http://www.careerdaisy.com
They say it’ll launch in the fall. Currently, they have the “keep me informed” site up and promise to post new content about CareerDaisy regularly until the fall.
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