Land a New Job NOW: Holiday Job Search Works!

WorkCoachCafeNovember and December offer excellent opportunities to start the New Year with a new, permanent job! Suspending your job search for “the holidays” – pre-Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day – is a BIG mistake! Don’t assume that, except for temporary jobs, employers stop hiring during the holidays (businesses close, vacations, etc.). NOT  TRUE!

Employers are still filling their permanent jobs during the holidays. In fact, the holidays are the best time of the year to find a “real” – not temporary or seasonal – job.

Job Hunting During the Holidays Is a Waste of Time? NO!

Many job seekers wait until the New Year to get a “fresh start.” That is a VERY big mistake because so many people decide exactly the same thing, making January 2 the start of the most competitive job market of the year!

Reality: The Holidays Are a GREAT Time to Find a Good Job

Although the holidays are the best time of the year to find “seasonal” work in retail, those jobs are NOT the only opportunities available. The holidays are actually a great time to hunt for a permanent job when you measure the real activity:

  • Only 1% more jobs were open in January and February (vs. November and December).
    Using the number of job postings as a measure, January and February of 2013 showed only 1% more open jobs than the number for the preceding November and December, excluding the holiday seasonal jobs.
  • Only 3% more jobs were filled in January and February (vs. November and December).
    Using the number of jobs filled as a measure, January and February of 2013 exceeded the numbers for November and December  of 2012 by only 3%, again excluding the holiday seasonal jobs. And it is very likely that MANY of those job offers made in January were based on interviews that happened in November and December.
  • Less competition – most job seekers drop out during November and December.
    Using traffic to job search related websites as a measure, the volume is typically lowest in November and December – lower than even in July and August, the most popular summer vacation months. Then, traffic usually skyrockets in January and February by as much as 100% or more as the post-holiday job seekers jump into the market.
  • Employers are more desperate to fill jobs in November and December.
    Using employer spending as a measure, employers are willing to pay more to promote their job postings in November and December than they are in January and February (when everyone has jumped back into the job market so they have plenty of attention from job seekers).

4 Holiday Job Search Advantages

There are four primary reasons to continue your hunt for a job during November and December:

1. Employers want to fill the openings before year end.

They want to be 100% staffed up for the start of the New Year to be well positioned to achieve their year’s goals. So, they want to fill those job openings in November and December.

2.  Fewer job seekers are competing for the same number of jobs.

I always cringe when a job seeker tells me that they are getting ready to launch their job search on January 2. That’s when everyone who is even considering getting a new job seems to take a look (New Year’s resolutions?). But, in November and December, those job seekers who are getting ready for January are not cluttering up the process, taking opportunities away from the people who are smart enough to be job hunting.

3.  Holiday gatherings offer more networking opportunities.

People do more socializing during the holidays. So, to celebrate the holidays, they throw parties, have big dinners, and attend other seasonal events. It’s “the time” to celebrate, so keep your job search in mind when you attend those gatherings.

4.  The holidays are a great excuse to reconnect.

Get back in touch with the people in your network you have lost contact with – friends, school pals, neighbors and former neighbors, co-workers and former co-workers,  bosses and former bosses, etc. Make phone calls, reach out via email, or send a snail-mail card. It’s “the time of year” for reconnecting!

Leverage the Holidays to Advance Your Job Search

Don’t waste the opportunities presented by this wonderful time of the year! Keep your job search in mind when you attend holiday gatherings, even those with your family. Don’t drone on and on about it, but – when asked! – tell people the job you want and some target employers you would like to work with.

If you are unemployed, don’t let lack of employment keep you at home – “tiz the season” to network to your next job!

If you need more ideas about how to leverage the holidays for your job search, spend $0.99 on this 5-star book, edited by Meg Guiseppi and me, New Year, New Job! – a Kindle book that can be read on any computer, smart phone, or tablet with Amazon’s free Kindle Reader app installed.

More Information About Holiday Job Search

Is Job Hunting During the Holidays a Waste of Time?

6 Ways to Make the Most of This Holiday Season

Answering Those Awkward Holiday Party Questions: STILL Unemployed?


About the author…

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 2011, Susan has been editor and publisher of WorkCoachCafe.  A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Susan also edits and publishes, is a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a columnist on HuffingtonPost.  Follow Susan on Twitter (@jobhuntorg) and on Google+.


  1. Thanks for this post, Susan! I just tweeted this, I think its great insight especially since it runs contrary to popular belief that hiring either slows down or is only temporary at the end of the year!

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