New year, new job? The pros and cons of job hunting over Christmas
With the UK unemployment rate at 3.6% - the lowest it’s been since 1971 – there is less competition in the job market, meaning it’s a great time to be a job hunter. Christmas is notorious for being a slow month on the job-front and while December only accounts for 7.2% of jobs posted in the UK, there are also many benefits to starting the search during the festive season; in other words there are both pros and cons. Let us take you through them:
Pros of hunting over Christmas
Competition is low
December is a time for watching Christmas films, shopping for presents (or leaving it until the last minute) and getting merry with your friends and family, right? Yes, that’s true for most people who put their job search on the back burner. So it seems silly to follow suit and wait for the January chaos to unfold. Use this lull in activity to your advantage and get ahead of the competition. Recruitment websites don’t get as much traffic in December, so any urgent-to-fill positions are yours for the taking. Plus, this is an opportunity to showcase your tenacity.
Hiring teams are looking to fill those last remaining roles
The end of the fiscal year means that refreshed budgets are on the horizon. Recruiters and employers alike will be motivated to spend any remains and focused on filling roles before the year is up. Use this hunger to your advantage! Hiring managers may actually be able to give job applications more attention than usual over Christmas and will be keen to wrap up their work and fill roles for the new year.
There are more opportunities for networking than ever
In December you can’t go long without seeing a work Christmas party. But these parties are more than just a chance to have fun - they’re also an opportunity for you to network. To be a networking pro, get some business cards with your contact information and LinkedIn details printed on them and practice your elevator pitch. Alternatively, reach out to your existing contacts on LinkedIn or any other platforms; wish them a Merry Christmas and let them know you’re starting to think about a career move - you never who they might put you in touch with or where it could lead.
The holiday cheer
Less work + fewer CVs = a greater chance of success. As work slows down over the Christmas period recruiters and employers will have more time on their hands to help you, and they’ll be more than happy to because everyone who isn’t Scrooge is in great spirits in December. Not only are you setting yourself up for a better outcome, but job searching during the festive season can be a much smoother process. Who said that finding a new job had to be such a headache?
Cons of hunting over Christmas
Budgets may have been spent
Companies may have already spent their budget come Christmas time, and those that have will postpone hiring until the new year. With their new budget unlocked they may set off on a hiring spree, trying to build a workforce that are ready to take on the new year’s projects. In these circumstances holding off until January may be the right decision but do consider that employers may be more selective if they don’t have pressing time constraints.
Jobs postings drop in numbers
Yes, there is less job competition over Christmas but that is because fewer jobs are posted in December than any other month. On the bright side this makes Christmas the perfect time to get your ducks in a row – make your CV shine, write a template for your cover letters, update your LinkedIn profile and start searching for companies who you want to work for. Want to make a great impression? Email your CV to recruiters and employers in December – this shows great initiative and means that they’ll think of you first when a suitable job comes up.
Employees are waiting for their bonuses
Many people wait until they receive their year-end bonus and then hand in their resignation in January, making even more jobs available in the new year. This contributes to a 30% increase in hiring from the previous month. So if you’re confident that you can beat the competition then you may want to take your chances and wait for the new year frenzy.
So, should you job hunt over Christmas?
On one hand you can beat the competition and use this typically quiet time of the year to establish some leads. Or you can postpone the hunt and wait for the recruiting madness to begin where the market will be brimming with jobs. No matter when you decide to kick off the search the best thing you can do is be prepared. Keep your eye on job boards and start making some connections with recruiters. This will ensure that when the right job becomes available, you’re ready to snap it up.
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