Illustration of computer and job listings

Here's how to find a new job in the new year

December 14, 2020


Some may question whether the end of the year is a good time to search for a new position or make a career switch, but Becca Shelton, assistant director of career services at UR, enthusiastically recommends holiday season job searching. She offers a handful of tips on finding work and professional networking as 2020 winds down.

Why is job hunting during the holidays a good approach?  

We may be slowing down a little and looking forward to a break, but many businesses that have roles to fill are not slowing down. They still have a need and work that needs to be done. Many will work between Christmas and New Year’s and can be reviewing applications and scheduling interviews. Additionally, if you stay active during this time, there may be less competition given that many job seekers think companies slow down hiring during the holiday season.

A slower pace during this season may be a great time to brush up on skills and knowledge you need for your target jobs.
headshot of Becca Shelton
Becca Shelton

Assistant director of career services

What advice would you offer for job hunting during the holidays?

There are many things you can do, but here are five things you can focus on now.

  • Update your resume with recent accomplishments and/or job changes. If you need to reorganize your resume, now is a great time to do so. Also, take some time to update your LinkedIn profile and explore all functions of the site. From networking, to job searching, LinkedIn Learning and interview prep — the site offers a plethora of resources.
  • Get your references in order. Ask for permission to list them on job applications. It’s both considerate and professional to ask someone to be a reference and to let them know you’re applying for work.
  • Keep in touch with your network. Send holiday cards to check in and update them on what you have been doing.
  • Take your time. If you’re employed, take advantage of vacation or personal days to apply for jobs and schedule interviews. 
  • Learn new skills. A slower pace during this season may be a great time to brush up on skills and knowledge you need for your target jobs. Are those jobs asking for skills you don’t have yet, or need a refresher on, such as Excel or Photoshop? There are many free or discounted sites you can use to do some upskilling.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic altered how people are job hunting this year?

While some industries were affected more severely than others, all industries have had to shift in some way due to the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Early in the pandemic, the budgets of many organizations were in flux due to the high uncertainty of the economy. Some employers are still either on a hiring freeze or feeling some budget impact. Job seekers may notice that organizations once hiring are not right now or hiring processes could be delayed. Expect the unexpected here and try to stay positive. Those looking for opportunities may also experience slower communication in the recruiting and hiring process. With many working from home, receiving phone messages may be delayed, and email inboxes are more full than ever. So, practice patience as you await responses. And, last, job seekers should certainly expect some interview questions to focus your ability to successfully perform remote work. Even if the job is not a permanent remote work role, it will more than likely begin that way until organizations open more fully.