Why The Holidays Could Be the Best Time to Apply for a New Job

Sarah Steimer
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Key Takeaways

What? Despite some myths, hiring during the holiday season does not always slow down.

So what? Fewer job-seekers and budget excesses could present an opportunity to catch HR’s eye.

Now what? Job-seekers should use the holiday season to continue applying for jobs to get ahead of the competition and use seasonal parties as a networking opportunity.

​Nov. 22, 2016

Depending on the industry, hiring during the holiday season can either stagnate or explode

This end-of-year period (often defined as Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day) has one of the most complex hiring dynamics of the year, according to Monster, because of holiday retail hiring, the holiday business slowdown and navigating end-of-year budgets. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey suggests major industries classified as information, financial services and professional and business services see their lowest level of hiring in December, but Monster suggests the letup on hiring may not be what it once was.

With this myth in mind, it may actually be in a job-seeker’s interest to apply in December. While open positions may not be shrinking, the number of job applicants may have.

Career Sidekick goes even further and suggests applying in the last two weeks of December, as it may put job-seekers ahead of the competition when the hiring swing really picks up at the beginning of the new year.

In addition to less competition in December, The Muse suggests some companies may even have a little extra to spend on filling positions at the end of the year. If a company’s budget year wraps in December, it may be the time when funds are available to bring in new employees. The slowdown in applicants may also mean recruiters can spend more attention on those who do submit a resume, The Muse writes, meaning potentially longer interviews and a more responsive hiring process. 

Ready for a career change? Head over to the AMA Job Board and browse by category or check out some featured jobs.

Lisa Rangel, an executive résumé writer, writes in a LinkedIn post that she found getting hired during the holiday months was very feasible and often close to her top billing months for the year when she worked as a search firm recruiter. In her experience, she says, jobs open in November and December were often business-critical functions at the organization, and the companies hired quickly when a close-to-the-right candidate was found.

The holiday season is also an ideal time to network, according to both Range and The Muse. Job-seekers have plenty of opportunities to tag along with friends to parties, “thank you” events or simply reconnect with old coworkers. Even chatting with an uncle at dinner with the family could open up a new career connection.


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Author Bio:

Sarah Steimer
Sarah Steimer is a staff writer for the AMA's magazines and e-newsletters. She may be reached at ssteimer@ama.org or on Twitter at @sarah_steimer.
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