Holiday drought

The holidays can be a tough time of year, especially for those of us who are searching for a new job.

To make matters worse, the harsh reality is that some job opportunities simply fall through the cracks in this season.

I’m pretty sure that’s what happened with a recent job prospect. Shortly before Thanksgiving, I was brought in for an in-person interview. It went well. I followed up two weeks later, as requested, and it took almost a week to get a vague “you’re still in the queue” response. Fast forward to the Christmas holidays and I’m still treading water.

It’s not looking good.

For the most part, I’ve given up any hope of them contacting me again. Of course, that won’t stop me from obsessively refreshing my email for the first two weeks of January, hoping the hiring manager will reach out to offer a second interview.

This holiday drought is brutal.

If you have any doubts about things slowing down this time of year, check the job boards. Postings have dwindled in the last week, and I have not had any new listings in my searches for several days. In fact, I’ve applied to just two jobs in all of December. Both are senior-level positions that I am insanely qualified for.

I have yet to hear from either one.

The slowdown is understandable. And those of us who are looking this time of year have stumbled upon dumb luck. The big questions: Will they remember us once the new year arrives? Will our resumes rise to the top? Will our names ring familiar?

Time will tell.

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4 thoughts on “Holiday drought

  1. Phone call, email, or visit to follow up. Very important. My experience is that only about 1-2% of job-hunters do this. It is very easy to bring your name to the top of the list if you just do a follow up call. Don’t be afraid of being persistent! In the phone call say, “This is John Doe. I’m following up on a recent letter and résumé or etc. I know what your company does and really think I could add to your success. When can we get together
    and talk?” You’ll be surprised how frequently people will say, “Why don’t you come by tomorrow at 2:00?”

    • Thanks for your feedback! The problem I’ve run into in these examples is that I applied though a blind Internet process that listed no contact. It’s rare that I actually know who to reach out to. My experience is that the job seeking landscape has dramatically changed since the last time I was out here. It’s been a learning experience for sure, but I think I’m starting to catch on.

      • Yes, I can tell from your response that you’re starting to catch on. Knowing how to conduct your job search process will transform the results you can expect.

        I’ll offer you the job search process that I recommend: The Four Critical Steps of the Job Search

        1. Identify 30-40 target companies. Do you want a place with 20- 85 employees? A profit or non-profit organization? A manufacturing or service company? A new company or an old established one? Do you want to travel or be home every evening? An organization in health, retail, finances, entertaining, printing, etc. Use the (Your City) BUSINESS DIRECTORY, the Chamber of Commerce directory, an industry guide (readily available at your local library for media, manufacturing, non-profits, etc.) to help you create this target list. (Most libraries will have both local and national search tools for selecting companies based on your search criteria.) You are in the driver’s seat to choose the companies you would like to work with. You don’t have to wait until they advertise a position or you heard someone say they are hiring. Those usual methods typically put you up against 70-80 people for most any
        desirable position, whereas in this method you may have 2-3 competitors. You must recognize that when you see an ad for a particular position, you have already lost your best opportunity for that position. Also, this is the method
        for finding the 87% of the jobs that are never advertised. In a rapidly changing workplace, everyone is looking for good people. Be proactive in your search.

        2. Send a letter of introduction to each company. (Send no more
        than 15 at a time so you can do the appropriate follow up.) The letter of introduction is just to build name recognition.

        3. Send cover letter and résumé — one week after letter of introduction.
        Address cover letter to a specific person. You can get this name from the Business Directory or call the company if you need to. Receptionists are wonderful about giving useful information if you ask nicely. Don’t bother sending to Personnel Dept., or Human Resources, or To Whom It May Concern. Target a person who has the ability to make a hiring decision. That’s normally going to be the Sales Manager, the VP of Operations, the President, the Office Manager, etc.

        4. Is the follow up part in my first response. Keep me inform about your success.

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