Recruiters agree, according to this Monster.com article, that recruiting cycles occur in waves. Although personally not a fan of winter and the cold weather that comes with it, I’ll acknowledge the one upside: January and February are hands down the BEST time to job hunt. Here’s why:
Well aware that many companies hold off on until December to dole out annual bonuses, and that many qualified candidates won’t leave until said bonus is deposited, companies will begin after the New Year to tap into this rich pool of talent.
It is rare that interviewing and hiring-related decision making occurs by a single decision maker. Instead, these decisions tend to occur with a group of people in agreement. With so many people taking time off for the holidays, finding people to act “as of one mind” is challenging.
Come January – agreement is much easier . . . thanks to the simple fact that everyone is at work at the same time!
While many department heads have their hiring plans ready to roll before the end of the year, it is often not until the New Year that the funds for said plans are readily available.
In other words, not only do they know how many people they can hire and how much they can spend, they have the cash to do so!
Here’s the situation right now: The jobs reports from late 2017 are exciting – and 2018 is promising to be a fantastic year for people looking to test the job search waters.
However, in today’s world where decision makers spend seconds (not minutes) reviewing a resume, documents and profiles get read on screens (printing is virtually dead), and many jobs are filled through referral before the role ever gets posted online – it is critical you be ready before taking the plunge.
Here’s what I recommend:
Spend some time engaging in online sleuthing to see who might be hiring and in what kinds of roles. Do a bit of research to target companies of interest, and use LinkedIn to see who works there and how they came to those roles.
Get your resume and LinkedIn ready to roll. Make sure both documents are easily skimmable on screens of all sizes, and show readers how you are ideally suited for specific roles – preferably by telling your career story using quantifiable achievements rather than an exhaustive list of your roles and responsibilities.
We all know recruiters and hiring managers find and vet talent online. They are looking for “social proof” of who you are. My advice? Shore up any social media accounts that belong to you. Make private any accounts that reveal information you don’t want shared publicly, or beef up public sites by sharing information that aligns with your career aspirations.
Spend some time identifying who is in your network, and who should be in your network.
Think beyond immediate friends to include connections of connections, friends of friends, etc. LinkedIn and other social media sites are a great resource for finding the people that should be a part of your “virtual rolodex.”
If your documents and your network are ready to go, and you look great online, why not take advantage of this wonderful time of the year to job hunt?
The case is powerful – the months of January and February are possibly your best chance to get out and start interviewing. While timing isn’t always everything, it certainly helps. Go ahead – put the word out that you’re looking, and start the conversation rolling. This can be accomplished through phone calls, emails and even LinkedIn groups.
Picture yourself in 6 months or this same time next year. Will you be frustrated if nothing has changed? If the answer is yes – this winter may be the time to get started!
About this guest author:
In need of some career advice, a refreshed resume or rebranded LinkedIn? As the founder and chief writer at Virginia Franco Resumes, I offer customized executive resume and LinkedIn profile writing services for the 21st century job seeker. I would be happy to chat!