One of the most common questions I get as the year wraps up is about job searching in December. Job searching can take a ton of time and many people who kick off their job searches in the fall still find themselves in the grind as the year comes to an end.
If you happen to be in this position right now you may be wondering if job searching in December is worth it and if it can actually yield results. Basically, should you press on or pause until January?
My advice is to keep on searching – keep on applying, networking, and HUSTLING. While it’s true that December can be a little slower, there are quite a few good reasons to keep your search going.
#1 – If you see a newly posted job, the company doesn’t want to wait around either
Most companies don’t want to wait until December to start hiring for a new job. That being said, sometimes they have no choice. If someone resigns in December, they need to fill the role quickly. If a job opened in June is still unfilled, people are probably already pretty antsy. If a business need pops up and a team needs help, they’re going to post the job right away and the team definitely won’t wait until January just for the hell of it.
You get the point. If you see a job that was posted in the last few weeks, you should assume the company is actively recruiting and interviewing for it.
#2 – In December, there is a smaller candidate pool and therefore less competition
The same way you’re wondering if you should hit pause on your job search, so are many others. And many others WILL decide to give up on it until the new year hits.
The other factor here is that many people who are currently employed don’t choose to leave their jobs around this time of year. They might be caught up with holiday parties and pre-planned vacations or they might be waiting for their year-end bonus or raise.
All of this actually works to your advantage because it means that in December there are less candidates and therefore less competition applying for the same jobs you are.
Since the volume of candidates is lower, recruiters may have a tougher time filling roles that are open, which also means they are more likely to answer a cold email or chat with someone with a less traditional background.
#3 – Keeps the ball rolling which makes for a much more productive January
Let’s say you do decide to apply for a ton of jobs in December and send out some networking notes, but you don’t get too many responses. It is true that December can be slower – people take vacations and sometimes it’s impossible to move a search along at the same pace.
That being said, think about what your early January will look like if you DO submit those applications and try to network vs. if you don’t. You’re a lot more likely to get calls, interviews, and meetings during the first few weeks of the New Year.
If you’re just picking up your search for the first time on January 3rd, it may be a few weeks before things start to happen again. Don’t put a big gap in your progress and momentum just because it’s the holiday season.
#4 – More time to focus on job search activities
Depending on what kind of commitments you have over the holiday season, you might find yourself with a more reasonable work-life balance and some much-needed vacation time in the month of December.
If your typical schedule is very demanding, the holiday lull could give you more time to devote to submitting high-quality applications and committing time to the job search process.
So what do you think? Hopefully you’re feeling good about keeping the ball rolling in December and will make some great progress.
Another great thing to do around this time of year… send some recruiters or networking contacts a holiday card.