By Perminus Wainaina
This year will remain etched in our minds as the year that many professionals lost their jobs, had to take pay cuts, or were sent on indefinite unpaid leaves.
John recently sent an email narrating how he had been on unpaid leave since April and all his efforts of finding a new job had borne no fruits.
“As the year comes to an end, I am thinking of shelving my job search until 2021, when I will hopefully be lucky.”
Truth is, dipping your toe into the job search pool can be intimidating, especially if you haven’t done it in a while or if you’re hoping to make a career shift.
However, December is the best time to maximize your job search and even start applying for jobs as you wait for the new year.
Here is why:
1. A Great Time to Network
The holiday season is usually filled with holiday parties and events. However, with the ongoing pandemic, parties will be at a minimum. Although this is the case, virtual meetups are on the rise, making it a perfect time for you to take advantage of this from the comfort of your home, and network.
You could simply be catching up with relatives you haven’t heard from in a long time, and catch them up on your career plans.
There is no shortage of virtual events to keep you from rubbing shoulders with new contacts and reconnecting with old friends.
The best way to network is by meeting new people and getting others to know what you do. It helps to know people.
If you meet somebody who might be helpful in your job search, ask for his or her information and follow-up later.
2. Great Time To Contact HR Manager and Recruiters
With so many employees out of the office, HR managers have more time to answer emails and phone calls. They also have more time to pay attention to the details in your CV. Reach out to HR managers and decision-makers responsible for filling the positions to which you applied. You can also take this time to find out what they look for in candidates.
You’ll be much more likely to get a response, and there’s a good chance your ambition will be rewarded.
Even if they don’t have open vacancies, you’ll be on top of their mind whenever a vacancy arises come 2021.
3. New positions are coming up
With the job market slowly coming back, 2021 is looking hopeful for many professionals.
In 2021, many employers will be seeking to fill various positions that had been closed as a means of cutting costs.
If you are not actively job search you might miss these opportunities. Keep your ears on the ground and get to know of opportunities before everyone else.
This is a good time to subscribe to job alerts and check the website for any job openings that may arise.
If you have a target list of companies, now would be the time to check in on their job listings.
How then do you ensure you stand out during your job search this December?
1. Clean Up Your CV
If it’s been a while since you took some time to update your CV, it’s time for a refresh.
Make sure it’s updated with your current/most recent employment, and look it over to see if there are ways you can better emphasize skills and experience relevant to the work you’re applying for.
If you were laid off due to COVID-19, make sure to note in your cover letter that you lost your job as a direct result of the pandemic.
2. Update Your LinkedIn Profile
With many employers looking for potential candidates through social media and especially LinkedIn, it’s a good idea to make sure your LinkedIn profile and job history on other social sites are up-to-date. Inconsistencies between your CV and online information can seem like dishonesty to potential employers.
In addition to your job history, you also should have a recent photo and a robust summary on your LinkedIn.
3. Research the Industry You Want To Be In
If you are looking to change careers come 2021, create some time to research the industry you want to be in, and the types of jobs that are in that specific industry.
If, for example, you are looking towards being in communication, do you know what it entails? Do you have the skills needed in that industry? What specific job are you targeting?
This way, you will be in a better place to make a career change.
If in doubt or you are seeking clarity on where to start, seek to get career mentorship from a career coach that will help you make an informed decision.
Finding a job or transitioning to a new job can be a difficult thing. Searching for a job is never truly an enjoyable activity, but if you ignore the potential to find a job in December, your job search process may end up dragging out much longer than you had hoped. So why not continue the search through December?
All the best!
Perminus Wainaina is the C.E.O and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR & Recruitment consultancy firm based in Westlands.N.B: Would you like us to consider you for a job opening? Boost your job search. Upload Your CV Here. It's FREE