If you listen to conventional wisdom, you probably think the holiday season is the worst time of year to look for employment. Many hiring managers take off multiple days during the holiday season, logic says, and the amount of work to be done generally slows down or goes into overdrive – depending on the industry.

However, proactive personnel staffs are already looking forward to January 1, when the pressures and demands of a new year kick in. Furthermore, with many people following conventional wisdom and not looking for work, there is less competition for people who are still out there pounding the pavement.

With this in mind, here are four ways you can use the holiday season to your job search advantage.

Be available and flexible

Because the holidays are a busy time, you should be prepared to receive a phone call or rush off to a job interview at a moment’s notice. You will need to adhere to a hiring manager’s busy schedule and, if you do, you may have a leg up on your less-flexible competition.

Flexibility also applies to a start date. While companies do hire during the holidays, many of them don’t want new hires to start until after January 1. People who are willing to wait will also have an advantage here.

Tap into various networks at holiday parties

Many people underestimate just how deep their personal network goes, and the holiday season is a good time to tap that network in search of job leads.

Make an attempt to attend any professional or industry-related holiday networking events. At these events, you have an opportunity to get in touch with, and expand, your local professional network. During conversations at these events, let people know you are currently out there looking and give them a sense of the kind of work you are looking to do. Also, ask people about what is going on in their company or industry. If you currently have a job, this kind of question could uncover a sales lead or networking opportunity.

Perform volunteer work

While paying work may slow down during the holidays, opportunities to do volunteer work are usually popping up around every corner. Like holiday parties, doing volunteer work is a great way to network and search for job opportunities. Even if donating your time and energy doesn’t turn up any leads, it is something you can put on a resume to make yourself more attractive once you do land an opportunity.

Pick up seasonal or temporary work

Many companies hire workers just for the holiday season, particularly those companies that get their business from holiday shoppers. Picking up seasonal or temporary work could lead to a more permanent position at the same company, expand your professional network and add work experience to your resume.

At Cornerstone, we work throughout the holiday season to connect job candidates with our client companies. Click here to contact us, regardless of the season, and we can get started on finding your next opportunity.

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