The festive season is upon us once more and we are making a special appeal to job seekers and those hoping to make a career change in the New Year.
With all the festivities taking place throughout the Christmas and New Year period, it’s rather easy (and indeed tempting) to ‘take your eye off the ball’ and let your job seeking efforts lapse. After all, there’s not really much you can achieve at this time when most businesses are taking a well-earned break, right?
Not Exactly. Whilst Christmas week and New Years might not be the ideal time to send out CV’s and application forms, there’s no reason at all why you can’t use this time in an effective and constructive way, to advance your prospects come January.
Job searching should always be high on your priorities and though it may be difficult to set some time aside amongst all the fun, doing so will ensure you keep the momentum going and don’t fall into lazy habits.
Here are few simple ways that you can improve your job search potential over the festive period (without letting it take up too much of your time)
If you have been using the same basic CV template in your job search, without much success, then perhaps this time of year is a great opportunity to evaluate it and make some worthwhile changes.
Consider not only the content of the document, but also its structure. Ask yourself whether the layout best represents the skills, experiences and qualities that you want it to, and make amendments accordingly. With family and friends usually on leave from work at this time of year, it can be the perfect time to gain a second opinion on your CV.
Often, other people will be able to make suggestions that you are unable to, because of your familiarity with it.
Take a look at some of these articles on the topic of CVs which should come in handy when giving your CV a Yuletide spruce up.
5 Ways to Fill Gaps on your CV
Ways that your CV can make a good first impression
How to streamline your CV
Some basic ways that you can improve your CV
Just as you did with your CV, you should take this opportunity to review your job search techniques as a whole, evaluate them and consider some of the ways that you could make positive changes moving forward. Stagnation is the biggest enemy of your job search. It is something which happens naturally and can all but destroy your chances of getting the job you want.
Think about where you are going wrong in your job search and hone your efforts accordingly. Do you get through to the interview stage but fail to get the job, or do you not even get that far? These are difficult questions to answer and whilst dwelling on failures can be damaging to your self esteem, there is much to be gained from identifying where, and more importantly, why you are going wrong.
Having identified the problems you can then put fresh strategies in place for the New Year.
You might find some of these articles useful when reviewing your techniques.
Twitter hashtags that can be useful in your job search
A few ways to beat the job search blues
Common job search mistakes
As dramatic as this suggestion sounds, expanding your horizons doesn’t mean making earth shattering changes. It could be as simple as doing a little research into the types of jobs which you are perusing. If you have been unsuccessfully applying for a specific type of role, it might be worth considering what other roles your particular skill set could lend itself well to. If you are dead-set on a particular career path, you could research alternative ways of taking the first step, perhaps through education or skills development.
For many people, this time of year is all about reflection and change and this is something which all job seekers should embrace. Most people don’t end up working in the job they had planned, but ‘fall’ into roles that they had never expected. Are you giving yourself the opportunity to ‘fall’ into a great role?
You might find some of these articles helpful in expanding your job search horizons.
Old school job search tips
How to stay positive when job searching
How to transfer your acquired skills to a new career
Can you think of a time of year when people get together in greater numbers to socialise than during the festive season? Probably not!
Some of you may be cringing at the very sight of the words ‘festive’ and ‘networking’ together in the same sentence, but your needed fret. When we say ‘networking’ we do not mean turning social occasions into a horrible pitching event, but rather using the opportunity these event’s bring to ‘put the feelers out’ in a very casual and non intrusive manner.
Who knows what useful information you could gather as you casually chat with friends and family or make new acquaintances? It’s important though, that you make sure any inquiries that you make, are in keeping with the social situation, since no one likes to feel like they are working when they are trying to enjoy themselves.
Hopefully this has given you a little extra inspiration to continue with your job search efforts over the Christmas period. Don’t forget to check out our recent thoughts on how you can become more employable in 2015.