A common misconception about the hiring process is that businesses are just like people: once the holidays come, they're taking a break. Businesses are made of people, of course, and many of those people take time off around the holidays, but the business can't wait until the new year.
While you might want to put down the resume and pick up a glass of eggnog, don't head for the 'nog quite so fast. Here's why December might be your best chance at getting hired.
1. You'll be the early bird. Remember, most people think now is a slow hiring time, so they've put the job search on the back burner. Less competition equals a better chance of finding a job, plus you'll come off as a real go-getter if you're making the rounds during the holidays.
2. Companies want to hit next year's ground running. The early stages of a new employee can be a bit time consuming - training, adjustment and just familiarizing the new employee with the work can take weeks, even. Rather than deal with the entire search process for the right candidate on top of the adjustment to having them in the office, hiring managers are itching to get moving on that process so the new year brings immediate productivity with a fresh team.
3. Hiring managers (sometimes) have to use it or lose it. Given the money and time to find a new candidate for an open position, they've gotta find someone before the year ends or they lose the spot. It's a great opportunity to take advantage of someone else's deadline.
4. Easy networking. The holidays bring with them a rash of parties and neighborhood get togethers. You hardly have to make an effort to meet some new faces and extend a handshake to someone who's company might be looking for a candidate just like you.
5. 'Tis the season for compassion. You can feel it in the air - everyone's happy to see friends and family around this time of year, and more than willing to help a friend out. Tell people what you're looking for and they're pretty likely to keep an ear out for any opportunities. Ask them about how their work is going - you never know where you can be of assistance.
Getting a job nowadays is the talk of the town. Especially once the holidays roll around, it's all you can do to keep from getting asked constantly by family members and friends how your search is going, and everyone has an opinion. "You should try this," "don't do that," and "I heard from so-and-so's son that they're saying that.." will float through the air along with the much more desired smell of pumpkin pie. You'll hear it all, but it's best to take their advice with a grain of salt.
There are lots of job search myths that have stood the test of time, and we're here today to reveal their true colors.
1. Because you have the skills, you'll get the job.
Yes, in theory, hiring managers are look for someone who technically checks off all the boxes in the skills department. It's important to have someone who's capable to performing the job's duties, however, there's a little known fact: it's just a important to show capability of growing in the position. What we mean is: you should have the skills necessary for the position, but show an eagerness and a adeptness at learning new things. With so many people applying for each position, interviewees often have identical skill sets, and defining yourself as a quick learner and a knowledgeable professional in your field will give you the edge.
2) You can prepare for every interview question.
With interviews taking a "think outside of the box" approach, there's no telling exactly what questions will come your way these days. Designed to exemplify a candidate's quick thinking just as much as their cognitive abilities, unexpected (and, well, weird) questions are becoming more commonplace. While it's great for you to run the typical interview questions through your head, don't be surprised if a fastball comes at you. Remember, if you get a question you weren't prepared for, take a moment, avoid "um"s, and make sure your answer reveals you to be a valuable asset to their team. Often they're looking to see how you handle unexpected pressure.
3) Every employer needs someone in-house.
If that's what they want, they'll include a note about it in the listing. But it's the end of 2015 - employers know that the future lies in remote-working becoming the norm, and many are willing to consider it, for the right candidate. The good news for you is that unlimited locations opens so many more doors for finding the right position. Plus, even if it's a standard, 9-5 in the office job, there's a still a chance you could negotiate one day a week working away from the office.
4. If you don't hear back, you're a "bad" candidate.
Exactly the opposite is true. If you made it to the interview stage, you were a) worth their time and b) better than a lot of other people. The famed "it's not you, it's me" line from breakups applies here - you might be a perfect candidate, but just not a perfect candidate for them. What another candidate brings to the table is completely out of your hands, and all you can do is look at how the whole process went and see if there's room for improvement. If there isn't, there's nothing you can do but keep trying until you find that perfect fit.