Tis the season to be jolly! Unless you are unemployed, don’t have a good resume, unorganized, and freaking out about how you are going to pay for Christmas this year. Calm down, take a deep breath, and try using the following pointers to help you get through the holidays effectively and efficiently.
Don’t panic: Hiring drastically slows down during the holidays, this is no secret. Plan ahead and expect to not see many promising leads until January. Cut back on your spending habits during this transition and don’t hedge your bets on landing a job over the next couple of months to pay for gifts after you’ve went on a spending binge. However, this is no time to panic. You must keep your emotions in check and don’t let your anxiety show. Hiring persons can tell if a job seeker is stressed, especially if it’s written all over your face. Control your breathing during interviews, maintain eye contact, and have a positive attitude. While you might be under a great deal of stress, you have to control the situation and be patient. Expectations almost always lead to disappointment – so control your thought process and accept the possibility that you might have to wait for that right opportunity. Like you, other applicants are applying for the same exact job as you, and they are panicking. Put yourself “above the fold” and show the hiring manager that your plan is organized and your act is together.
Refresh your resume: Now is a good time to get that dusty resume out and give it a facelift. Make sure your employment history is up to date, you have an organized modern format, avoid grammatical mistakes, and most importantly, make sure it is targeted specifically to your current career path. Having an outdated and/or improperly developed resume is never a good way to start a job hunt, especially during the holidays when things slow down a bit. A good resume can only do so much in terms of getting you noticed, but a bad resume will almost always lead to instant rejection without you even knowing it.
Listen to the experts: If you hire a resume writer, career counselor, or recruiter to help you get your foot in the door, listen to them. Don’t read generic advice online from crummy looking websites telling you to keep your resume to only one page or to hide your dates of previous employment in fear of being discriminated against based on age. Everyone’s situation is unique and you cannot apply the same logic to every case. When your career coach tells you to do something, do it. Don’t second guess the advice you are paying for. These people know what works best in most situations and can guide you through this difficult time.
Stay organized: Keep your hot job leads organized in specific email folders, on your computer, or write them down in a notebook so you can follow-up and keep track of where you have applied. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is sending in your resume, getting confirmation it was received, and then accidentally applying again for the same job a week later. This can cast an impression that you are disorganized, which employers do not like. Not to mention, it wastes your time when you could be spending it more wisely applying for new jobs.