Last week was Thanksgiving, otherwise known as the last “deep breath” before pre-finals and finals at most colleges and universities. As students rush to finish papers, research, projects and prepare for final exams – there’s another question that looms around the corner: “Have you found a job or internship yet?”
If you are within your last two years of school, then your parents, guardians, grandparents, and favorite aunt will all be waiting around the holiday dinner table with the inevitable question about your future career plans.
You are either a student who already has a definitive answer, or the question will lead you give that “deer in the headlights” look while thinking to yourself, “but I don’t graduate until…”
If you are in the former group – Good for you! You get an extra helping of holiday cheer. If you are in the latter – don’t panic…yet. Whether you graduate in December, this coming spring or in a couple more semesters – you may have found one of the best times to start your job or internship search!
While recruiting does start to wind down for many organizations during the winter holidays – it is also the calm before the recruiting storm for many, as companies have re-evaluated their hiring needs and budgets for the next quarter or year. Taking some time to connect with a hiring manager during the holiday lull may actually be perfect timing- even if they aren’t hiring until later in the year (which is OK- especially if you don’t graduate until May or are looking for a summer internship.)
Here are some quick tips for job/internship searching during the holidays:
- Use those holiday gatherings to spread joy and network. You never know- Uncle Bill’s golfing buddy might be a great career connection. Let family, friends and acquaintances know that you are looking for a career opportunity, and tell them specifically what you’re interested in.
- Don’t give up on that employer or job that you haven’t heard back from! Employers often want to try and tie up loose ends before the end of the year or holiday vacations. Send an e-mail or call to check-in and inquire on the status of the position and to express that you are still interested.
- Volunteer and make new contacts! The holiday season is full of great opportunities to give back to your community and make contacts at the same time.
- There is less competition because many job seekers choose to give the job search a rest during the holidays. By sticking with it, you’ll be ahead of the competition when the January “rush” begins.
Holiday Job Search Resources:
Lanie James serves as Employer Development Coordinator for the Career Services office at Oklahoma State University, also known as HireOSUgrads.com . She holds both a B.A. in Journalism Broadcasting and a M.S. in Mass Communication from OSU. Her research emphasis focused on emerging and social media in Career Services. She also serves as the President of the Oklahoma Association of Colleges & Employers (@OkACE). Connect with Lanie on LinkedIn or Twitter @JLanie.