Looking for a New or Better Job? Don’t Stop During the Holidays

Looking for a job during the holiday season may seem like a futile effort. But there are things you can do now to improve your chances of finding a new or better position.

The holiday season is approaching. With it will come a slow down in job search activity by many job seekers. This is as true for those who are employed and seeking advancement or new opportunities as it is for those who are unemployed.

Activity in the formal job market (advertisements, postings, etc.) slows drastically. The want ad section of the Sunday paper shrinks in size. The number of postings on usajobs drops. Filling internal positions stops as employees take their use or lose leave. Budget issues that should have been resolved before the beginning of the fiscal year are still slowing the announcing of positions.

Is this a good time for you to slow down your job search activity? Not really. There are many things that you can do during the holidays to improve your chances of finding a new or better position.

Give your resume and other paperwork a check-up. Take advantage of some of your own use or lose time to bring your resume or application form up-to-date. Add recent accomplishments and have a career advisor review your resume and make suggestions for its improvement. Prepare your KSA statements in advance for jobs in which you are interested. You can find the KSAs for those jobs by looking at previous job announcements. Having KSA statements prepared in advance will save you time in the application process later.

Don’t stop your networking activities. The holidays, with their get-togethers and parties, are ideal times to make contact with people who can help you in your job search. Although this is truer in the private sector, you should never underestimate the power of networking when seeking federal opportunities. Prepare a clear, concise statement of who you are and what your skills and accomplishments are and use it in conversations with those you meet at gatherings. Ask questions about occupations or opportunities of those you meet. Do your best to create a good impression during these gatherings.

Don’t forget to take time to take care of yourself by recharging your batteries with loved ones and engaging in activities you enjoy. Consider the path you want your career to take and resolve to follow that path.

There are many things you can do during the holidays to position yourself for success after the holidays.

Also, check out the recent article on "Applying for a Promotion or New Job? Don’t Make These Mistakes on Your Resume!"


Agencies can request to have John Grobe, or another of Federal Career Experts' qualified instructors, deliver a retirement or transition seminar to their employees. FCE instructors are not financial advisers and will not sell or recommend financial products to class participants. Agency Benefits Officers can contact John Grobe at johnfgrobe@comcast.net to discuss schedules and costs.

About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a firm that provides pre-retirement training and seminars to a wide variety of federal agencies. FCE’s instructors are all retired federal retirement specialists who educate class participants on the ins and outs of federal retirement and benefits; there is never an attempt to influence participants to invest a certain way, or to purchase any financial products. John and FCE specialize in retirement for special category employees, such as law enforcement officers.