“Oh, I’ll just wait until January 1st to apply for a new job.” This is one of the most common mistakes job hunters make, assuming no one is working the last two weeks of the year and no hires are being made during the holidays. WRONG! Hires are made all throughout December and in fact, it’s one of the busiest hiring times of the year. Don’t wait! Applying for jobs now can give you an advantage in your job search.
Here are the top five reasons you shouldn’t wait until the new year to apply for jobs:
1. Recruiters have time. Recruiters are juggling 10-18 job openings at any one time. If they are juggling that many jobs, hiring managers, and candidates, they don’t have time to spend more than a few seconds looking at every resume. But, this time of year, work slows down (hopefully!) since hiring managers and other interviewers are on vacation. That means this is the perfect time for recruiters to spend a little extra time looking at applicants and interviewing you now to line up who the hiring manager will interview in the new year. Recruiters may even have a few extra minutes to talk to you versus the typical 20-30 minutes for that first recruiter screen and they may respond to your unsolicited reach out if you contact them directly. Take advantage of catching a recruiter’s attention now!
2. AI programs may find you easier. Many companies have AI (artificial intelligence) programs which scan through resumes looking for the perfect fit for roles based on keywords in the job descriptions. The AI program surfaces resumes which are the closest fit for the role. Assuming your resume has all the applicable keywords, it may be found easier when it is one of dozens versus one of hundreds of resumes. Applying now may help you be found quicker than if you are applying when everyone else is applying for roles in the new year.
3. Hiring managers have time to review potential candidates. If you read my last article about the hiring process, you know hiring managers have day jobs full of meetings and deadlines, some with Q4 goals to meet so they have little time to devote to the hiring process. But, over the holidays, they have at least Christmas day and New Year’s Day off. Some may take additional vacation time. During their time off, some manager may take that time to review candidate resumes provided by recruiters so they can “toss the ball back over the fence” to the recruiter to schedule interviews in the new year. I know a lot of managers, including myself, who use “down time” to catch up on work they don’t have time to do during the regular work week. You will want to be one of those resumes in the stack because once there are 3-5 viable candidates, recruiters don’t go back to the applicant pool for more.
4. It’s a cheery time of year. You may think this is corny, but when recruiters or hiring managers interview you, they are most likely in a great mood, drinking their cocoa, smelling pine needles and fresh baked cookies, and dreaming of their upcoming few days off. That cheeriness allows for recruiter screens and hiring manager interviews to be a little less intense. Less intensity means people are more forgiving if you didn’t answer a question as perfectly as you wish you had. Further, less intensity means you are hopefully more relaxed and come off more authentic than formal “interview candidate.” Make the time to interview now because it will benefit you during the entire process.
5. You will feel better that you jumpstarted your jobs search. Oh, the dreaded New Year’s resolution. Some people want to lose weight. Others want to find a new job or career. If you start now, it won’t feel like a goal you give up on in a few weeks or months. It will feel like you are starting a process that will continue into the new year until you are successful. Also, perhaps you are taking a staycation or vacation that will allow you extra time to interview. You may be able to convey your message clearer when you are relaxed and not trying to interview in the middle of your hectic workday.
If you are not ready to apply for jobs because your resume and LinkedIn profile are not up to date, don’t rush just because you read this article. Always make sure you are fully ready to apply and interview for any job before applying.
Happy holidays and happy job hunting!