Naughty or nice? How job seekers can shine during the holiday season

I get a lot of questions this time of year from job seekers who aren’t sure whether they should continue their job search through the holidays. My answer is always a resounding yes. Therefore, I thought I would take a break from our regular format to provide some tips on how to shine as a candidate during the holiday season when it’s even more challenging than usual to get the attention of a hiring mananger.

In short, I suggest you become your very own Santa Claus and make sure your efforts reflect the “Nice” list.

Naughty. Be a humbug!

Nice.Take time to recognize your individual blessings. Enjoy the holidays, join in the celebration, and remember that we all have something to feel good about. This will actually endear you to friends, family, and others.

Naughty. Give up and restart your efforts in the New Year.

Nice. Bump your job search efforts up a notch by increasing your holiday activities to stand out from those job searchers who simply give up during the holiday season.

Naughty. Ask, “What’s in it for me?”

Nice. Lend a helping hand. Volunteering to help others can expand your network of contacts and allow you to demonstrate your talents at a time of year when many corporate, charitable or community support programs are short of help.

Naughty. Refuse invitations to holiday parties.

Nice. Take advantage of the season’s social hubbub as holiday parties offer great opportunities to expand your network. Also, reignite your network connections and spread good cheer by sending holiday greeting cards.


Naughty. Have a bleak and negative response to, “How’s the job search?” that revolves around where you have been and why you haven’t found a job yet.

Nice. Have a positive and proactive response to, “How’s the job search?” that focuses on where you are going and what you are looking for.

Naughty.Focus only on making your interactions with people about job leads.

Nice. Focus more on getting to know other people so you can build stronger, long-term relationships that will create more opportunities personally and professionally.

Naughty. Give in to the stress and strife.

Nice.Give yourself permission to simply relax. Not only will you enjoy the holiday season, taking a few scheduled days off will help you stay mentally fit and refreshed in the months to come—making you a more attractive candidate and potentially shortening your search.

Good luck!

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