4 Reasons You Should Keep Up Your Job Search During the Holidays

Don't stop now -- take advantage of less competition and employers eager to fill positions before the end of the year.

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By Kathy Gans


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Now that the holidays are upon us, you may be considering taking a holiday on your job search. But according to a recent survey by recruiting company Accounting Principals, 94 percent of hiring managers recommend job-seekers keep up their search through the end of the year. Here are four reasons why.

1. Employers need to make hires.

What you may not know is that while you're sipping on eggnog, many employers are still actively searching for the right candidates. That's because hiring managers and recruiters still need to fill positions before the New Year, contrary to popular belief. In fact, many employers have already set their budgets and anticipated their needs for 2016, which may include filling vacancies from those leaving right after receiving their holiday bonus. By beginning the hiring process in November and December, they're setting themselves up to hit the ground running at the start of the New Year.

Related: 3 Ways to Transform From Dime a Dozen to Cream of the Crop

Job hunters should work to connect with recruiters now to get on their radar ahead of the New-Year rush. Be sure to keep up your conversations throughout the holidays. Recruiters are more likely to place a candidate that has been in contact with them throughout the holidays than those who have been unresponsive.

2. Less competition

With other candidates are taking a break from their job search during the holidays, there's less competition to land new opportunities. This makes it easier to stand out from the crowd and allows you to get ahead of the game by January, when the rest of the talent pool is just making the decision to switch jobs.

Job-seekers waiting until the New Year to pick up their search are more likely to get lost among the many other candidates whose New Year's resolution may be to get a new job or career.

3. More networking opportunities

The holiday season is filled with holiday parties and events, which makes it the perfect time of year to network. Whether it's a holiday party thrown by family and friends or a business function hosted by a professional association, there are many opportunities to connect with people who can help you in your job search.

Take advantage of these holiday festivities by letting others know you're in the market for a new job. Fellow party-goers may be willing to put you in touch with potential connections. And keep in mind that these networking opportunities don't have to end when the party does. Offer to continue the conversation at coffee or over dinner in the near future.

Related: 9 Ways to Be Certain You Won't Embarrass Yourself at the Holiday Party

The holiday season is also a great time to connect with former colleagues. If you don't have their emails, use LinkedIn to connect and schedule a time to meet. They may provide you with valuable insights into happenings in the industry that could lead to a job opportunity.

4. New employee perks

Many candidates choose to put the brakes on their job search during the holidays, because they are holding out for their holiday bonus. Holiday bonuses are not promised in December, however. Those in finance, for instance, tend to receive their bonus in the first quarter of the year rather than during the holidays.

While those expecting a bonus this year will see an average of $858 per employee, according to a survey from Accounting Principals, a signing bonus for a new job could be significantly more. Additionally, don't under estimate the power of negotiation. You may be able to negotiate your new salary to include your missed bonus or to establish a more substantial bonus structure for 2016, especially if you have in-demand experience and skill sets. Don't let the holiday bonus factor into your decision to search for a new job -- you could very well make up that cash through other new-employee incentives.

Job hunters should leverage this time of year to get ahead of the competition, make valuable connections through networking, and remain top-of-mind for recruiters and employers alike.

Related: 10 Little Reasons You're Not Winning Clients or Getting That Big Job

Kathy Gans

Senior Vice President at Accounting Principals

As senior vice president, Kathy Gans is the national executive director for Accounting Principals and Ajilon Professional Staffing for the entire organization. During her tenure with Ajilon and Accounting Principals, Gans's significant professional experience has helped drive company performance and results.

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