The Holidays Can Be a Good Time to Find a Job


It was the end of the year and Diana Tigani needed to fill several jobs for three new offices that were opening in South Florida.

At any other time, the area director for Regus—a company based in Luxembourg that provides virtual offices for home-based businesses—might have received more than 50 résumés from online job ads. Ms. Tigani had only 12 résumés by mid-November. So she tapped her network for leads and found a strong candidate that she ended up screening over the phone on Thanksgiving eve.

"Some people do take time off during the holidays. We're a growing company that's always looking for people. When we need to hire somebody for a new center opening in the first quarter, it's still business as usual for us," says Ms. Tigani, who ended up hiring the candidate two weeks later.

Dennis Nishi

Many job hunters will skip over the holidays when looking for full-time work. But career experts say December is a great time to reach out to hiring managers—especially during that slow gulf of time after Christmas and before the new year.

Workplaces that are open will typically be quieter, which is an ideal time to make that connection by phone, email or even setting up a lunch meeting, says Laurie Ruettimann, a human-resources consultant from Raleigh, N.C. "You're not competing with the regular rush of business. Just remember that many people work half days during the holidays or may work from home."

Holidays also are a good time to do something productive while making enduring face-to-face connections with people at personal and professional events or through volunteerism.

Ideally, you'd end up working in soup kitchens alongside chatty employees who are in festive moods, says Ms. Ruettimann. "You wouldn't ask for a job right there, but employees might offer some insight into what it's like to work for their company. And you can follow up with a call."

Search for networking opportunities at websites such as or or company websites, social-media feeds by employees and in your local newspaper.

Nonprofits also will list their corporate partners when advertising for holiday events. Just don't crash any office parties unless you are invited. Over the past few years, companies have been scaling back on the attendance at employee events. The human-resources staff may be forced to ask you to leave.

Always have your interview answers memorized as well as a short pitch about yourself in case you are questioned by interested parties. Hiring managers will interview you on the spot if you fit a hard-to-place job that they really need, says Ms. Tigani.

Make sure all of your social-media profiles, not just on LinkedIn, are updated and scrubbed since even hidden profiles may come up in online searches.

And here's a seasonal tip: Don't send a fruitcake with your résumé since that will put hiring managers in the awkward position of responding to your gesture. They would probably just pass on your application, says Ms. Ruettimann.