Job seekers who keep at it are even more likely to be hired during the holiday season. Here are some reasons why:

There is less competition. You can be sure lots of your fellow job seekers are laying off during the last 60 days of the year. If you stick with it, you’ll make a great impression and have less competition.

HR Managers have year-end deadlines, too. The new year brings a new budget. Toward the end of the fiscal year, hiring managers may have a number of new positions to fill. They will be evaluated on whether they get the job done. You could be just the person they are looking for. So, don’t hesitate—send your resume, return phone calls, and ask for the interview.

Holiday activities often put managers in a more receptive mood. When people are focused on family and fun through the holidays, they often are more open and receptive to conversation – even from job seekers. Stay friendly and try to assume the mood of the person on the phone. You can even make casual conversation about holiday plans, instead of the old standby, the weather. Intend to make a connection, rather than further your job search. You might be surprised by the increase in friendliness and results.

Holiday events are a natural networking environment. Professional associations often have free holiday events. Be sure to take advantage of parties given by associations, chambers and clubs that interest you. Ask a friend to take you as a guest. Have fun and don’t push your agenda. Find a way to speak dispassionately about your current job situation. Be sure to include a future statement in your explanation, so that you engage help, not pity. Paint a picture of what you want, rather than what you don’t want. Focus on finding new job leads, and making solid connections.

Holiday greetings by mail, email, and telephone keep you connected. Harness the spirit of the season to amp up your gratitude. Thank your former clients, vendors, and coworkers. Thank bosses and mentors. Thank everyone who has helped you.  Here’s a sample message you might use: “As I think about the last year, I realize that a great part of my success is due to my association with you. Thank you for challenging me, coaching me, and encouraging me. You bring so much to my life.”

The holiday lull is the perfect time to polish and refine your resume: Use holiday time to create or polish your resume. Make sure your resume contains the same key words used in the job descriptions for which you are applying. For example, if you are seeking a job in marketing, you may wish to consider changing the words “advertising” and “public relations” in your resume to “marketing.” Also consider shortening the language and bumping up the type size to at least a 10 point font. Make the resume easy to scan for information. If you need some help with your resume, please consider New Resume New Career, available at and in all the bookstores. In it, you will find 50 resume make-overs of real-life job seekers.

And, most important:

The season will help you be present to your wonderful life. During these weeks, find ways to bring enjoyment into your life without a lot of expense. Arrange movie dates with friends. Spend some time walking outdoors. Go to a lighting ceremony or go caroling. Go ice skating or do something you used to do as a child. Do things to keep yourself inspired, whether it’s going to a great free concert or watching a rerun of “It’s a Wonderful Life” with friends. You’ll come out of these holidays refreshed and ready to land that perfect job in the New Year!

Catherine Jewell is the Career Passion® Coach who has helped more than 600 adults through career transitions. She speaks at conferences about Career Passion® and provides resume writing, career testing, group tele-classes, and coaching by phone or in person. Her new book, New Resume New Career, is available on and in book stores now. For more information, check out or contact her at

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