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Many people say that December is the slowest hiring season. Does that mean it’s pointless to keep looking? Or are there advantages you haven’t considered? Here’s what to know about a December job search.

Even If They Slow Down, Companies Still Hire in December

Of course, lots of hiring managers take Christmas vacations, or even duck out of the office to do a little holiday shopping. Because so many people do that, you may think that it’s not worth even trying to talk to them about hiring you. And it may take them a minute to get back to you if you do contact them.

However, just because they may slow their pace, doesn’t mean they aren’t hiring. They are. Lots of companies have money left in the budget that they need to spend before the end of the year, and they spend it on new hires. Other companies are laying the groundwork now for big plans in the new year—which means they’re hiring now to get ready.

Other Job Seekers Clear the Field for a Holiday Break

Because conventional wisdom says that December is a bad month to job search, many job seekers step back. But that’s great news for you. That means that there are fewer job seekers competing for jobs. And it means that fewer job seekers are contacting recruiters and hiring managers. When you do, you’ll stand out and be remembered.

December Brings More Opportunities for Networking

December is typically packed with holiday parties of all kinds—both career-based and social. Take advantage of these chances to speak in person with others. Bring business cards to pass out and collect email addresses. After these networking events, contact these people with a quick note about how nice it was to meet them. Here are some killer networking event tips for you.

(Introverted? Check out these Networking Tips for Introverts)

December is also a perfect time to reach out with a holiday card or email. People love to be remembered. Write them a note about how you’re doing and what you’ve been up to. Include a bit about your job search with a request to pass along info if they get it. Many people are more willing to help others at this time of year and won’t mind at all.

Ask how they are and let them know that if there’s anything they need, you’ll be glad to help. If you can, include a link to an article or event that might catch their interest.

See these 4 Easy Networking Tips—it has a sample message to get you started.

December Job Search

The bottom line? A December job search is a great idea. You have lots of good reasons to keep going. And if it turns out that companies in your space aren’t hiring now, chances are good that they will be in January. Getting your resume in front of them early is a good strategic move.

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