If I read one more story about how you should be rushing to send out resumes this month because hiring managers are in a hiring frenzy right now I’m going to lose my breakfast.
I’ve read more than one story and advice column lately, telling job hunters that employers are scrambling to hire in order to use all the money in their 2009 budgets before the time is up. This, they say, happens every year.
This theory is bull! I know it’s on the Internet, but that does not make it true.
First off, if you’ve ever interviewed for a job you know most hiring managers can take months before they make a decision to hire.
And if any of these experts would bother to make a quick phone call, or send an email to the Bureau of Labor Statistics they’d find out that December is in fact the slowest month of the year for hiring.
Here are the actual numbers:
When you look at the last ten years of data, the average net change for employment during the month of December is 263,000. Compare that to 700,000 for the peak months of hiring between March and May.
Yes, hires still happen but clearly, you’re chances of landing a gig this month are pretty slim. And the interview process for those jobs probably started in early fourth quarter.
So take a break from sending those resumes out and scanning the job boards out there, and drink some eggnog. OK, I’m not really big on eggnog, but you know what I mean.
Now, if you just can’t take time off from the job hunt and want to do something, here are some things you could be doing from Ushani De Abrew, director of career services at Texas School of Business:
1. This is the best time to make sure you work on reaching out to the staffing agencies you have been putting off. Staffing Agencies gear up for the upcoming year with fresh applicants to help service their employers.
2. There are always free net-working events sponsored by employers and networking groups during this season. Holiday Parties and events are great resources for networking.
3. Preparing a cover letter with an option or availability to do a “working interview” to show the employer your skills and talent is a good way of giving the employer a choice to try you out.
4. Volunteering during the holiday season to help cover for staff on vacation, etc., is a good way of beefing up your resume to show that you have been actively utilizing your skills. Request recommendation letters.
5. Check on availability of certifications, etc., that you could take to boost up your resume. There are many mini sessions available to gain new skills that employers are looking for in candidates. Also request recommendation letters from these instructors. Remember a third party referral holds a lot of weight.
(Look for my Your Career column this Monday, Dec. 14, for some more detailed strategies on what to do now so you’re ready to hit the ground running in January.)