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Why you should job search during the holidays

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay | 14 December 2018

‘Tis the season to find that dream career! With the holidays just around the bend, it’s a common belief that job seekers might as well go MIA for the next two months, lest they waste their time trawling through the same old job boards during the most inopportune recruitment time of the year.   

Though “inopportune” couldn’t be far from the truth. While it may make sense to lay off until mid-January with everyone in vacation mode, the holiday season can actually bring about a myriad of job-hunting advantages for those who keep at it.

Once the months roll into November, retirees, backpackers, and students on a break from university or high school can benefit a ton out of the “holiday job hunt”. Plenty of companies are likely looking for extra helping hands during this hectic time, particularly those in hospitality or retail.

These extra open slots are usually casual or part-time, perfect for those seeking a temporary, flexible way to earn some extra cash. Backpackers are in luck – the job roles most commonly picked up by travellers are in these very same industries that peak during holiday season.  

At the same time, those looking to obtain a more stable, full-time position in these areas shouldn’t be discouraged. These opportunities give you the chance to showcase your skills, potential, and value to the company, proving yourself as an employee worth keeping in the long run.

However, job seekers looking for full-time positions in other industries (that don’t necessarily peak during Christmas season) can still benefit from carrying out their job search through the holidays. Such advantages are as follows:

Less competition

Why you should job search during the holidays

The NSW Managing Director of Mahlab Recruitment, Liza Gazis, mentions a common faux pas job seekers tend to make in her report on “holiday job hunting". Plenty tend to opt out during this season to focus on Christmas vacations and commitments – resulting in fewer people looking for jobs during this time around.

Therefore, by keeping on with your job hunt, you are faced with less competition and thus a significantly higher chance of having your resume noticed by a prospective employer. As this is generally a “quieter” period in terms of job-seeking, it’s also the optimum opportunity to reach out and connect with key players in the fields of your interest.

A great time to network

On the subject of making connections, the holiday season is also an excellent time to build upon your professional network. With festivities at an all-time high, it’s a more than appropriate time to reach out to old friends and colleagues; be it through an email holiday greeting, a chat on social media, or by attending the several parties and get-togethers that are likely to take place among your social circles.

With the Christmas and New Years’ spirit afloat, people are also generally at their cheeriest, wiling to provide time to meet, get to know, and advise the people who approach them. Of course, be mindful of how you can help these people in return for their efforts, to ensure business relationships that last.

The perfect time for polishing skills

Even during periods when you aren’t actively hunting (or are experiencing a slow turnout of replies), the holiday season is still a great opportunity for you to reflect and improve upon your employability. According to Seek, make use of this generally “quieter” period to add new skills to your resume and work on your career plan.

Volunteering opportunities also abound during this time of the year, so get in on the Christmas spirit and take the time to give back to those in need. I’ll look great on paper for employers – and you’ll get a personal sense of fulfillment from it, too.

Job searching during the school holidays?

Perhaps you’re a student, and your idea of a “holiday job search” isn’t one during the tail end of the year, but rather during the brief periods of semester or term vacations that take place in the earlier months.

If that’s the case, these periods of time may not bear same opportunities brought about by the hectic excitement of Christmas or New Years’ – but it would still prove valuable in the long run to hunt for any available job opportunities.

Those who work during their school holidays are provided the chance to meet and network with new people, earn money for leisure activities or to save for their HECs debt, and most importantly: prepare themselves for future internships or even full-time career opportunities.

If you want to plan for that job search well before the holidays begin, keep in mind that school breaks vary from state to state, or from one university to the other.  

Where can I start my search?

Now that you’re aware of the benefits that come with “holiday job hunting”, these online job boards should help get you started on finding that perfect career opportunity.

For creatives

If you have a passion for the arts, or looking for a career in the multimedia and marketing field, your best bet is to check out Mumbrella, ArtsHub, or Pedestrian. While Mumbrella and Pedestrian are mainly hubs for social media, marketing, journalism, and digital coordinating roles, ArtsHub includes other opportunities in architecture, visual arts, and performance; though requires a paid membership.

For temporary work

Why you should job search during the holidays

If you’re backpacker, retiree, or full-timer just looking to make a little holiday buck, OneShift or Sidekicker may be the platform you’re looking for. Both match up jobseekers to employers for one-off, casual, or part-time working gigs, giving employees the flexibility and quick experience they’re after. For backpackers, the Backpacker Job Board provides this very same purpose, though is specifically tailored towards travellers in Australia.

For uni students

Those looking to snag a job while studying can look to StudentEdge or GradConnection for available opportunities. While the latter focuses solely on helping students find the jobs or internships programs they’re after, StudentEdge is an actual online community with online forums, articles, surveys, and student deals.  

For other general job searches

Why you should job search during the holidays

If you don’t fall under any of these categories, you’ll likely find luck looking through major sites such as Seek, Indeed, or Jora for other general job roles. These boards are filled to the brim with thousands of postings you can filter by industry, location, and – in the case of SEEK – even salary ranges. All are updated daily; whatever role you may be after, these sites will have your back.

Now that we’ve equipped you with all you need to go about your job hunt, make the most out of this holiday season to chase down that career opportunity you’ve been after. Not only will you come out of the year in high spirits from all the Christmas and New Year cheer – you might even be a proud new member of that company you’ve had your sights set on.

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