Christmas is almost here -- holiday markets take over town squares, festive lights brighten up high streets and everyone is busy buying presents. December may be a joyous time of year, but what happens if you’re job hunting? Is looking for a new job in December futile? Or does December have some hidden perks for job seekers? 

December is a notoriously bad time to apply for a new role. Hiring managers are busy with end-of-the-year festivities and many travel afar to spend the holidays with family or friends. While recruitment certainly slows down during December and you’re less likely to get a lot of interviews or quick job offers, on the other hand, there are some clear benefits for applying during this period. 

Benefits to Applying During the Christmas Slow Down 

There’s Less Competition 

Many other applicants assume there’s no point in applying during the Christmas slow down. While there may be fewer job openings, companies still have vacancies that need to be filled and many are eager to recruit before the start of the year. With fewer people applying for these roles, it’s easier for you to shine. Plus, you wouldn’t want to miss out because you decided not to apply. This could be the month that your efforts pay off the most! 

More Open Positions 

You could find that there are actually MORE open positions in December. In addition to job vacancies that exist to fulfil a certain need, companies often have extra money in their budgets which they need to spend before the year ends. This extra money could be used to create new positions, which weren’t available earlier in the year due to budget restraints. 

More Attention 

With recruitment slowing down and fewer candidates applying for open positions, companies have more time to process applications.  

HR teams can look a bit closer at your application, chat with you over the phone and are generally more responsive. On the flip side, this can also mean that the application process takes longer as interviews aren’t scheduled as quickly and you may need to wait longer for a call-back. However, if you’re prepared to adopt a more laid-back approach, you may ultimately find that you get individual attention during December. 

Get a Head Start 

While December may be known as the slowest time of year for recruitment, January is the exact opposite. Continuing to apply in December could give you a jump start on your competition as your application will already be on recruiters desks when they return at the beginning of the year. As long as you’re prepared to wait a little longer, December, especially at the end of the month, can be a great time to apply for a new role. 

How to Progress Your Job Search in December 

From company Christmas parties to downtime, December offers some fantastic opportunities for progressing your job search. Here are some of our tips for applying during December. 

Attend Christmas Parties & Networking Opportunities  

With everyone in a festive mood, December is perhaps one of the best times of the year to build your connections. You could join a friend at their company’s Christmas party, grab a coffee with old colleagues or attend a networking event. The holiday period is a great time to meet new people or talk to people you already know about your career plans. You could send Christmas cards with a small request to grab a coffee or be a bit more direct and send a Christmas newsletter to update people on your year and future goals. 

Take on a Seasonal or Temporary Position 

Many companies hire seasonal or temporary employees to cover for employees that are away on holiday or to help with the Christmas rush. Taking on a seasonal or temporary position can be a great way to get your foot in the door, develop new skills and experiences, strengthen your network and much more. And, quite often temporary positions can even turn into permanent ones.  

Arrange an Informal Meeting

With most offices slowing down, people have more time to be friendly and helpful. Senior managers and hiring directors are willing to meet for a coffee or quick informal chat. Asking managers to grab a drink could be a great way to build your network and help you get a head start on job opportunities in the new year.

Update Your CV

Downtime is never a bad thing. If you’re struggling to find jobs to apply for, focus on updating your CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile. January is one of the busiest times of year in the recruitment industry so preparing your CV and cover letter beforehand means you’ll have more time to concentrate on the application and interview process.

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