Why the End of the Year Is the Best Time to Start Your Job Search
You’ve heard all the reasons to hold off on starting a job search until the new year:
“No one gets hired around the holidays”
“Workforce budgets aren’t determined until January”
“Job listings disappear in December”
So, is it best to wait until January to begin looking for your next opportunity?
While it’s true that hiring typically slows down at the end of the year, waiting to launch your job search campaign until after the holidays would be a mistake. If you wake up on January 2nd and decide to get started looking for a job, then you’re already weeks, if not months, behind where you should be.
Instead, you need to be fully prepared to navigate the complexities of the job market. When you see an opportunity that you’d like to pursue, you want to have everything in order so you can spring into action. This is the time to build your roadmap, prepare your materials, perfect your messaging, and tap into your network so you can be ready as opportunities arise.
Let’s take a look at each of these areas:
Competition in today’s job market is heavy and you want to be sure to present your best self to prospective employers. The end of the year is the perfect time to get ready. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Killer Resume: If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your resume, you’ll want to take the time to create a results-focused document that clearly communicates your value. Basic, bland, boring resumes get pushed aside for those that tell compelling stories. If your resume isn’t putting your best foot forward, read this.
- LinkedIn Profile: Some professionals would assert that your presence on LinkedIn is even more important than your resume. The good news is that much of the same messaging that’s on your resume can be repurposed for your LinkedIn profile. Hiring managers, recruiters, and human resources professionals routinely seek candidates via LinkedIn. A weak or nonexistent presence on this network can mean missed opportunities. If you want guidance on using LinkedIn to reach your goals, read this.
- Interview Messaging: Are you prepared to answer questions about your candidacy? Do not make the mistake of winging it on a job interview. Prepare for meetings with recruiters and potential employers by having a full understanding of your achievements and your value. For help with your messaging, read this.
When it comes to finding a job, searching through job listings and clicking a button to submit your resume is a low-success strategy. If your plan is to apply to advertised jobs and then wait for the phone to ring, it may take quite a while to find your next job. When you apply online, you are often tossing your resume into a database with hundreds – or sometimes thousands – of other applicants. The chances of a prospective employer picking yours out of the pack is a longshot at best.
While you should still pursue advertised jobs that fit your target position, you should also supplement this approach with a more proactive strategy: networking. Once you have identified your target companies, tap into your network to see who can introduce you to a decision-maker within those organizations.
The end of the year is a perfect time to expand your network and reach out to your existing contacts. Touching base now helps to renew your relationships and facilitate introductions.
While many companies will put off hiring until January, that’s no reason for you to delay contacting your target organizations until then. Arranging for an informational interview is an effective way to start a conversation in a more informal setting, where you are not actually asking to be hired. Try reaching out to an executive or peer within a company you are pursuing to suggest a five-minute phone meeting so you can learn more about their role or organization. Using LinkedIn and your personal network can be quite helpful in starting the process.
The end of the year is also a perfect time to establish a relationship with a professional recruiter who is familiar with your specialization and market. With more than 60 offices and a nationwide network of professional executive recruitment consultants, FPC National services more than 40 different industries and disciplines. Reach out to your local FPC office today and lay the groundwork for a successful 2023!