Believe it or not, October is one of the best months to be looking for a job. It might sound strange, but October marks the start of the holiday season. I know, it's frightening, but after Halloween, it's almost Thanksgiving. For many companies, October is also the time that they begin to think about hiring additional staff for the holidays. Although many of these jobs won't be available until November, this is a great time to get an application in and an interview scheduled.
The holiday season is a great time to look for a job and spending some time now laying the groundwork will only help your cause. Here are four reasons why now is the best time for a concentrated job search:
- More networking events: Now that summer is over and school is back in session, many organizations are scheduling events during October and early November in order to avoid competing with holiday functions. This is a great time for committee meetings, job fairs and the like. As the holiday season progresses, there will be more relaxed events and get-togethers. Try to attend as many as you can, as they are great opportunities to get to know other professionals and even meet hiring managers in a less formal situation. Of course, unless you're going to a job fair, don't bring copies of your resume. Instead, use a professional business card that has your name and your contact information. If you're printing them yourself you can even create your own QR code that links to all of your social networking sites. One place you can do this is It's My URLS. The main thing is to provide a way for people to get in touch with you after the event is over.
- Temporary holiday jobs: Seasonal work is a great way to earn extra money and can really help you get your foot in the door with a company. For example, if you've been wanting a management job at a retail store, working for them in a seasonal sales job can give you the chance to show that you're determined, willing to work hard and give you an inside track to the job you really want. Because seasonal jobs are temporary, making a change into a different position is easy. Also, even if companies don't advertise openings, they are usually hesitant to get rid of great employees. Which means that if you impress your boss during the holidays, they may offer you a full-time job after the new year. The only downside is that there are only a small number of holiday jobs to go around and the most desirable are often filled quickly. If you're interested in landing one of those, you should start working on your application now.
- More volunteer opportunities: During the holidays, there are many more volunteer opportunities. Almost any non-profit organization in your area will have something that needs doing. If you've had difficulty finding a place to volunteer during the year, now is the time to try again. Volunteering is a great way to help your community, have some new experiences, get a fresh perspective and even connect with other professionals in your area. If you don't have a lot of time to spare, these holiday programs typically have very short term volunteer needs as well.
- It's the start of a new fiscal year: As companies begin the budget planning for their new fiscal year, they may be in a position to begin filling some of their open jobs. If there are a couple of companies that you really want to work for, this would be a good time to contact their Human Resources department in order to get a copy of your resume on file. This way, as soon as they announce the opening, you'll be ready.
Don't use the coming holiday season as a reason to slack off on your job search. Getting prepared now will help you take advantage of holiday opportunities before they're all gone.
What do you think about the holiday season? Do you attend more networking events or volunteer? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Image by pixel-perfect-stock / morgueFile.com