Holiday job search survival guide
If you’re looking for a permanent job in a hotel, your job search is likely to hit some snags during the holiday season. Hiring managers often go on vacation or slow down their recruitment efforts near the end of December. If they’re hiring, they may focus their attention on seasonal positions that need to be filled immediately.
But while your job search is more challenging during the holidays, it’s not impossible. Here’s how to avoid being left out in the cold.
Contact more people:
You can expect to receive fewer responses and invitations to interview during the holidays than you would at other times. For example, maybe in November you sent out 10 resumes and heard back from four hiring managers, but in December you apply to 10 jobs and get only one or two responses. To beat this numbers game, you’ll need to reach out to more employers than you would normally. Set a goal to contact 50 percent more employers than you ordinarily do, and be patient if people don’t respond right away.
Plan to follow up:
When you don’t get a response to an application during the holidays, it doesn’t mean the employer isn’t interested. Your resume may have gotten lost in the holiday shuffle, or the hiring manager might be out of town until after New Year’s. Plan to follow up on all your holiday applications during the first couple weeks of January. To make this task easier, keep a record of all your applications, including the name of the employer, the date you applied, and the names of anyone at the company you spoke with. Then check back with these employers after the first of the year.
Do informal networking:
Some of your requests for meetings will probably have to be postponed because people are traveling or busy with family. But you can continue to network in informal ways. Try to attend charity functions or holiday events that are sponsored by hotels, and introduce yourself to any hospitality professionals who are in attendance. Tell people that you’re looking for work in the industry. After the holidays, you can contact them and ask for advice or informational interviews.
Be open to seasonal work:
If there are seasonal positions that are at all relevant to the type of role you want long-term, consider taking a seasonal job. Seasonal work helps your job search in several ways. First, you get your foot in the door with an employer. If your supervisor is impressed with your work during the holiday season, the hotel may hire you to continue working after the holidays. Second, even if seasonal work doesn’t directly lead to a full-time job, the managers and colleagues you meet may know of openings at other hotels and may be able to direct you to opportunities you’ve missed. And finally, seasonal work gives you a new experience to add to your resume, and your supervisor might agree to be a reference for you as you search for your next position. When you continue your job search in January, you now have a new resume with very recent experience and current references, which signals to employers that you are active in the industry and that your skills and experience are up-to-date.