With the holidays right around the corner, you’ve probably decided to put your job search on hold until the new year rolls around. After all, what companies would be hiring right now when there are so many Christmas parties and impending project deadlines to deal with…

Before you make this assumption, though, consider this: December might actually be the best time of year to start your job search. 

Here’s 5 reasons why:

1.    There is Less Competition

With most people frantically chasing around in a hopeless attempt to be organised for this year’s festive season, there will be less competition for those open positions. With fewer applicants, it’s much easier to stand out from the crowd. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can put it off – you might get more reward for the same amount of effort.

2.    Internal Recruiters and Executives are Easier to Reach

Generally, these guys tend to travel less during the holiday season. And if their support staff is away on vacation, you might have more luck booking an interview—the key decision makers are more likely to pick up their own calls.

3.    You’ll Get More Attention From Recruiters

The best part of applying for jobs in December is you will be lavished with attention. Recruiters usually find it harder to find candidates for positions at this time of the year, so they’ll be particularly excited when they see your CV. The relative slowdown in applications also means that recruiters and hiring managers will spend more time reading through resumes, interviews are likely to be longer and you’ll experience a more responsive hiring process altogether –all of which are great things for you! 

4.    It’s a Brilliant Time to Network

Whether it’s joining your friend for her company’s holiday party or catching up with a family friend you haven’t seen in a long time, there are loads of opportunities for you to meet new people or let your existing network know about your career aspirations. Now is the time to reach out to old colleagues and mentors. Even if you aren’t actively looking for a new job, sending a quick note makes it easier to reach out again when you might need some career advice or help down the road.

5.    December is often the time when companies finalize their budgets for the new year, and they might have some money leftover  

Aside from the job openings that exist simply based on need (and trust us, there is , it’s quite likely that some companies to have a little extra spending money left over in their yearly budgets. This means new positions to be filled and hiring decisions to be made. This excess won’t be known until toward the end of the year, so naturally this is the time the positions get posted. If you have a target list of companies (and if you don’t, you should), now is the time to check their job boards. 

 And for those companies who won’t be able to hire until January, your application could be near the top of the pile of the first people they want to hire in 2015.

The holidays are a great time to take a break—and rightfully so. But if you want to stand out in your job search, you may want to consider bucking the trend and starting now. When it comes to jobseeking, those who hesitate might actually be lost. 

Written by Izzy Griffin-Smith

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