Every year around now, many job candidates sit at their computers and spin their mouse. They aren’t sure whether this is the right time to send out resumes or whether it’s best to put their search on hold for the holidays.
The answer is click send – keep your resumes, post updates and notes to contacts going! Now is a terrific time of year to be proactive. For one thing, the competition is down as so many people typically stop job-hunting activities until after the new year.
For another, it is, after all, the season of good will. As workplace experts writing in Forbes magazine recently pointed out, studies show people tend to be at their most magnanimous and social around this time of year. According to findings, it’s a prime time to reach out as people tend to feel more “charitable and gracious” and in the mood to spread some cheer.
But should you decide you want to take time-off from job-hunting during the holidays to recharge your batteries, consider sending out egreetings before you wind down.
Sending out eholiday cards is an easy, painless, way to stay on the radar of hiring managers and contacts. The people on your list should include your professional networks and those with whom you may have interviewed in the past for full-time, contract or temporary work.
Here are some great tips to keep top of mind:
Don’t mix hard sell and good wishes: The greeting card serves to remind people about you, not to promote your services and needs. This isn’t a covering letter in disguise. Instead, it’s just an appropriate occasion for you to let someone know you remembered them –and to nudge them to remember you. You can follow-up in a few weeks with a short email asking about opportunities or a chance to meet.
Be positive: Above all, don’t use your greeting card to comment negatively on your job search. Avoid making a joke of all your challenges because people might not get your humour. You may intend something like “Here’s to a great new year – and hopefully another chance for me to get it right”’ to be funny, but it could be misinterpreted and come off as bitter or sad. That’s not the message you want to get across.
Keep it short: In a greeting card, less is more. However, you may need to remind the person of how they know you. If so, do it in a brief, positive way –mentioning, for example, how much you enjoyed meeting them at an event or interview. If you know something about the person’s hobby or interest, personalize the greeting by wishing them well with it in the new year.
Don’t get holiday-specific: If you aren’t totally sure which holiday the recipient celebrates, play it safe and stick to happy holidays or happy new year.
Finally, our end-of-year greeting to all those looking for a job:
We understand how you can feel when you look for work. Job-hunting can be a challenge that can, at times, take a lot out of you. That’s why we hope you will take some time this holiday to reflect on, and celebrate, all your great achievements in the pursuit of work –and you had more than you might think.
Sending out resumes, writing covering letters, going to interviews, reaching out to people, getting over disappointment, trying new things, persisting –all of those are impressive accomplishments. Well worth patting yourself on the back.
And as Oprah Winfrey so rightly says, “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
From all of us at The Bagg Group, best wishes for a wonderful and deserved celebration over the holidays.