Alysha Campbell is an HR leader with a decade of experience in all facets of Human Resources Management. She’s the founder and principal of CultureShift HR, a consultancy and strategy agency. Alysha spoke with Lighthouse Labs to provide us with some tips on effective job-seeking during the holiday season. Read on to see what advice she gave.
Under normal circumstances, the holidays are a special time of year, where we gather with friends and family to reflect on the year we’ve had and begin preparing for the new year ahead of us. However, this year has been anything but normal — especially for those who, because of COVID-19, have still been in the job market since March. For some, it’s been a frustrating year. As the holiday season descends on us, so does the worry that the job market will remain the same going into 2021.
What’s a job seeker to do as businesses slow down this holiday season? The answer is to prepare, prepare, prepare! Here are some tips for thriving as a job seeker during this holiday season.
Update your resume
Keeping your resume up to date is a top priority for any job seeker. You should keep your resume updated with any changes and new information, so that it showcases your skills and experience in the most well-rounded way. Another tip is to tailor your resume to the description of the job you’re applying for, highlighting the accomplishments that will make you stand out from the crowd. Need a second opinion? Get a friend or a mentor to review your resume and provide feedback. If they can’t tell you in 10 seconds what jobs the resume is geared towards, , then you know you need another revision to get that vision crystal clear.
Take a new course or online program
If you’re interested in doing more than just getting your feet wet, Lighthouse Labs’ bootcamps will take you from newbie to master in no time with an accelerated curriculum. Launch a career as a developer with their online web development bootcamp, or become a data analyst with their online data science bootcamp. Adding these certificates to your resume and LinkedIn profile will help you stand apart from other applicants, and launch your dream career.
Your network is your net worth
Just because we’re confined to the virtual world doesn’t mean you can’t network.. There are tons of valuable online job fairs, webinars, and panel discussions on job searching where you can expand your network and meet potential employers. Making connections with companies you want to work with can help you get introductions to key hiring managers and recruiters that are looking for job seekers just like you! Ensuring you are prepared with all your job tools and elevator pitch will be key for moments like this, as you want to ensure that your first impression counts.
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Make a list and check it twice for potential employers and contacts
The holidays is a great time to check in on your network.
Having a person on the inside of a company, or someone with a wide network that you can tap into, will be key in helping you make additional contacts going into 2021. Check your phone list, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts for friends, family, and previous co-workers who may be valuable for networking opportunities. Many people feel extra generous during the holiday season and will want to help. Ensure you’re reaching out to let them know you’re in the market, tell them what you’re looking for, and ask them how they may be able to help. You’ll be so glad you did as you start to see those emails and DMs introducing you to people who want to meet you.
Work on your social media presence
Your social media presence is just as important as your resume. 8/10 recruiters look for a social media profile after,and sometimes even before, they look at a resume. Ensuring your professional social media pages are up to date, have professional photos, and feature attractive bios is important in highlighting who you are and what you do. Got references from your last job or big projects you worked on? Make sure they’re all highlighted on your page, so you can show off all the amazing things you’ve done in your past roles. Also, you are always 7 degrees of separation from someone you want to know. With tools like LinkedIn, you can see who your connections know, and even use the tool to get them to make an introduction for you.-So go through your pages and check them twice, because your potential employer may want to connect with you to ensure you’ve been nice.
Get Your References In Order
All too often, I hear stories of job seekers moving super fast in the job application process, just to end up at the final stages without any current references.. You need to make sure this isn’t you. It’s important to ensure your references are still active, and that you have the right contact information on file to reach them when needed. The holiday season can be a great time to wish your references Happy Holidays, and let them know you’ll need their reference in the future, as you land your dream job for 2021.
Explore Contract Or Temporary Work
Even though we can’t travel this year, many employees still take time off from work. Depending on the roles, employers may be looking for temporary employees to help fill in the holiday season gaps.. Roles like data entry, accounts payable, and customer service all need more support during the holiday time. If you want to generate some more income on the side, add more experience to your resume, and make valuable connections with organizations, consider looking for temporary or contract roles. More times than not, these can lead to long-term contracts or even full-time employment. Never underestimate the power of a contract position.
Self Care Is The Best Care
Make you set aside some time to recline back and relax.
We’ve all been through a lot this year, and the best thing about the holidays is that things slow down enough that you can finally take a beat and focus on what’s important:**you. Make sure that you’re not just using this time to prepare for 2021, but that you’re also taking time to relax and care for yourself. Read a book that’s been on your list, binge-watch your favorite tv series, have a virtual social with your friends, or catch up on some Z’s. If you’re not at your best, you won’t be at your best for all the interviews and meetings you’ll have comeJanuary. So although you should also continue to work hard and prepare, make sure you take time out of your day for some much-needed R&R.
Although this year has been nothing like we thought it would be, it’s important to be thankful and grateful for the time we do have, and to be optimistic about 2021. Great things will happen as long as you continue to prepare, set your goals, and work hard towards them. Remember: if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. Go into 2021 with a new mindset and attitude, and that job you’ve been wanting will be yours in no time.
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