If you’re unemployed and looking for a job or you’re looking to change careers or companies before the new year, you’re probably worried about the upcoming holiday season. Will it impact your ability to get an interview? People tend to take so much time off of work in December, surely hiring managers aren’t going to be thinking about posting jobs and holding interviews.
Not so fast. The holidays can actually be a great time to start or continue a job search. People are motivated to get new people onboarded for the start of the year, so they’re looking to fill open positions before the end of December. Now is the perfect time to start working on landing those interviews so you can finish 2019 strong with a job you are going to love!
Here are five festive strategies to get a job interview leading up to the holiday season:
#1 – Add Some Holiday Magic To Your Resume
I always suggest that you spend 15 minutes updating your resume to fit the job you’re applying for. This is mandatory. Do NOT skip this step. However, our first tip for the holiday season is to add some magic to your resume, too. If you haven’t updated the design of your resume and cover letter in several years, it’s time to revisit it and make sure it’s an attractive visual representation of your personality.
Just like we add a little extra tinsel to our tree, you need to go beyond basic Times New Roman font on a white background. Even a little bit of flair can grab the hiring manager’s attention as they’re sorting through stacks and stacks of resumes.
#2 – Give Yourself a Gift
If you’re sick and tired of waiting for the job you want to become available, why not take a chance and apply for it anyway? Find out who’s in charge of the department you’re interested in, make sure to spend some time tailoring your resume to suit the position, then send it off. It might be a long shot, but it’s not unheard of to land a job this way.
At the end of the day, it never hurts to try, and you might end up with a career you love! Sometimes the best gifts are the ones we give to ourselves.
#3 – Know Why You’re on the “Nice” List
Do you know your strengths? Most of us can fumble through a couple if we have to, but you need to do better than that. Do some research, then list the positive traits that you bring to the table. When you’re super clear on the attributes that make you a strong candidate, you can better communicate them in your cover letter and resume.
The hiring manager is looking to make their life easier by choosing someone who can help the company grow and overcome the challenges that are standing in their way to success. Chances are, it will come up in the interview too, so having this information prepared beforehand will set you up for a huge win later on!
#4 – Extend Some Goodwill
Sending off a polished resume and poignant cover letter is just the first step. Consider following up with a personal message or phone call within five business days (unless the job listing specifically says “no phone calls” of course). Doing this is a great way to stand out from the crowd and really communicate how serious you are about the job opportunity.
When you have the person on the line, remember to be brief. You don’t want to leave a bad first impression. Introduce yourself, express your enthusiasm for the job, and share a quick elevator pitch that clearly states how you can benefit the team. Remember, this call is about extending goodwill toward them, it’s not an opportunity to brag about yourself for 20 minutes.
#5 – Don’t Wrap Your Gift in Duct Tape
We all have that one relative who thinks it’s hilarious to wrap your gift in duct tape so it takes you 30 minutes to open it. Don’t be that person when it comes to your resume. It might sound basic, but we hear stories of people who do their own resume and for some reason, when they send it off to the hiring manager, they can’t open the file.
Make sure your resume is saved as a file type that everyone can open, like a Word document or a PDF. Test it out by sending it to a few friends. Ask them to open it and you might even request that they take a screenshot so you can make sure the design is consistent across different operating systems. It might seem like an unnecessary step, but sending a resume that doesn’t open or looks “wrong” will instantly get it tossed in the “do not hire” pile.
There you have it, five festive strategies to help you land that coveted interview during the holiday season. Put my advice to use and perhaps you’ll receive a job offer in the new year instead of coal in your holiday stocking.
Ebony Joyce, is a Career Coach and owner of Next Level Career Services LLC. She is a multi-hyphenate career strategy mastermind who helps mid-to-senior level professionals dust off their stagnant professional lives, brand themselves with confidence, clarity and certainty so they can attract their dream jobs.