The holiday lull is real.
Hiring managers are often on vacation. Job postings reduce in volume as companies go into year-end planning. If you are looking for your next employment opportunity, the holidays make it seem like there’s not much happening.
So, what can you do during the holidays to help boost your resume (or at least, stay busy)?
We asked several hiring managers and business leaders for the advice they would give to candidates. Here are some excellent resume building activities to try out during the holidays.
- Volunteer in the Community
- Attend Online Events
- Create Manageable, Focused Goals
- Try a Freelancing Platform
- Learn a New Language
- Benchmark Against Your Industry
- Research Resume Trends
- Reach Out to Old Colleagues
Volunteer in the Community
The holidays bring a ton of volunteer opportunities to communities. Stay active by seeking out volunteer experiences that align with your interests. Not only can volunteering help communicate who you are as a candidate on a resume, but you may also meet people through volunteering that can lead to professional opportunities. Many businesses and hiring managers are out in the community volunteering during the holidays. Get in touch with your local Goodwill to find out about specific opportunities available in your area, or seek out other organizations you’d like to work with.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Attend Online Events
One bright side of the era of COVID-19 is that conferences, events, and seminars that used to be hosted in-person in faraway cities are now available entirely online. If there has been an event you have been wanting to attend, but have always been unable to due to travel, there is no excuse now! Pay the entry fee and sign up for an event that will look impressive on your resume.
Jon Schneider, Recruiterie
Create Manageable, Focused Goals
Job seekers don’t have to wait until January to start their job search. Get ahead of the game, and the flood of new year job applications. Gather measurable data from your work experience. Did you increase your company’s social media presence by a certain percentage, or help your company land a new client? The holidays are a great time to organize this information into specific details (like $ or %) so that it is ready to cite on your resume. Scope out a plan. The end goal of landing a job is great, but how are you going to get there? Break your job search into more manageable goals. Maybe you want to find companies to target, or submit at least five resumes a day. Make sure your goals are focused so you don’t get bogged down.
Linda Qu, Jobscan
Try a Freelancing Platform
Jump on a freelancing platform (like Upwork or Fiverr) and complete a few jobs that appeal to you. They can get you experience in a field you’ve never worked in, allow yourself to learn new things, and even make a few dollars! Who knows, it could open your eyes to a whole new world of freelancing and working for yourself. These platforms are a gift to those people wanting to expand the experience you have and can really help you grow as a professional!
Darcy Cudmore, PR Professional
Learn a New Language
One thing I’ve done during the holidays has been picking up Duolingo. I try to do 15 minutes a day of Italian. It’s easy, fun, and adds a bit of routine to my mornings. This is an easy way to add “Beginner in Italian” into the “Languages/Hobbies” section of your resume. You can go further by watching movies in the other language, finding a pen pal or conversation partner online, listening to podcasts in the other language, or going old school and buying an Introduction book to your new language.
Tiffany Shan, Film Recommend
Benchmark Against Your Industry
Expanding your skillset and benchmarking against the industry are a few easy and effective ways to stay busy and become a more attractive candidate during the holiday season. Masterclass and Coursera are two online resources where you can build upon a specific skill set while taking courses offered by various universities and companies. This is helpful no matter what stage you are at in your career. If you are unsure of what skills to develop, the best course of action is to identify people who are in your ideal role and benchmark their skillsets to see which areas should be focused upon.
Katia Dillon, TechnologyAdvice
Research Resume Trends
To boost your resume during the holidays, take advantage of any downtime, assuming the office is closed and you have some free time. Since most businesses will be closed, job hunters don’t feel like they need to rush to submit a resume to not miss an application deadline. But, the companies will have a ton of resumes to sort through when they return, so make sure yours stands out. Devote uninterrupted time during any winter break you have to solely research resume trends and improve your own. Treat it as a task you need to accomplish before you can enjoy any holiday festivities. So, time box yourself – set the goal that you will finish your resume between the day after Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Eric Mochnacz, Red Clover
Reach Out to Old Colleagues
If you’re on the hunt for a new job during the holidays, it’s a great time to reach out to your colleagues who could potentially connect you with a new opportunity, or to reconnect with old friends from college. Considering sending the email, “Happy holidays! How is everything going?” and ask for a catch-up call before it’s a new year. Or ask someone if they would be willing to write you a reference on LinkedIn. A lot of people will be in the spirit of giving and helping others.
Lauren Patrick, Curricula