It may seem as though the next couple of weeks are not the best time to begin your job search, but as mentioned in previous articles, December is the ideal time to start that long and dreaded search for a new position. That being said, if you would rather wait till January, it’s not the end of the world. However, there are a few things you should cross off your list now.
Practice soft skills by talking to family and friends
As you know, the holidays are an extremely busy period. The free time you have will likely be spent with family and friends, celebrating at parties, and exchanging gifts. That's fine, go ahead and enjoy yourself! Nevertheless, make good use of that time. Use the mingling opportunities to refresh your interviewing and networking skills. This is an excellent time to talk with different people in your family and friend circles about your goals, skills, and ideal jobs, so that you're comfortable talking about it by the time the interviews start.
Take the time to update your knowledge
With the spare free time on your hands, you should make sure to stay on top of trends in your industry and any technological advancements. Make it a point to keep yourself informed by reading some key publications you can trust. Become well-informed about current affairs now, so that you can be as prepared as possible for the interview process in January. Take special note of the impact that key news stories have on your industry.
Make yourself as visible as possible on LinkedIn
The more engaged you are on LinkedIn, the more visible your digital presence will be. Get in touch with recruiters in sectors and industries you are interested in. What a better time to break the ice with your new connections than the Festive season. Additionally, make sure your profile is up to date, complete with a current photo and a description of your most recent experience and expertise, so that potential employers are attracted to you.
Give your resume a makeover
Put your laptop on the couch, watch Home Alone with some hot chocolate, and start updating your resume. Remind yourself of your accomplishments and projects from the last year (or however long it has been since you last updated) and remove any that are no longer relevant. Use a red pen, make final edits, and you're good to go.
Take action and set your resolutions
Let's face it: Writing down "get a new job" isn't the most helpful goal for the start of a new year. You may want to write down a few more achievable benchmarks (and less intimidating) before January rolls around. For example, “apply for three jobs per week” or “attend five networking events per month and meet five new people.” If you achieve these smaller goals, you’ll be much more likely to succeed at your overarching resolution of finding a new job.
Get registered with a recruitment agency
There is always a demand for new talent by recruitment agencies! Find an agency that specialises in your industry and join! The search for a job is already challenging enough. A brand-connected agency could serve as a great resource for helping you land work with the brands you're looking for. By contacting recruiters directly, you can avoid applying to multiple jobs and being rejected, and instead focus on the companies you are most suitable for.