An Animated Video From Career Strategies Group

 

 

Browse thousands of local job opportunities on our Career Strategies Group website. You can search open positions by location, occupation, company name or travel distance by plugging in your zip code. Job listings are updated daily so check back often.

Specialists in Attorney & Executive job search and career change. Are you sick of billable hours, your quality of life, or hate your job? We’re here to help!

Bored, underchallenged, overworked, unappreciated? If you don’t know who to turn to or what your options are, Contact Us Today!

Whether you are looking for a new job or a new career, Career Strategies Group can help. You can schedule an initial “get to know you” call, or can leave your details and we will get back to you. You can also send us your resume or personal note. All calls and resumes are treated with the utmost confidentiality.

We can help you determine your viable career alternatives and options, and then our career coaching professionals can provide the resources, information, techniques, job search strategies, life-coaching guidance and tools necessary to help you achieve your career objective.

Let us help you land a great new Attorney or Executive position today!

career strategies group

 

 

 

 

 

 

Career Strategies Group F.A.Q.

 


Career Strategies Group

 

Q: Are you recruiters?

A: I hate to give a lawyerly answer, but yes and no. We do direct recruiting for law firms and companies through our Corporate Services Group and our affiliate, New Jersey-based Perfect Match Recruiting. PMR recruits attorneys, executives and healthcare professionals. Many of our recruiting assignments come to us from our “graduates,” people who we have helped secure new positions. They will often come to us to find attorneys and executives for their organizations.

We are also part of a network of large recruiters, and work closely with recruiters that we know and trust. We are often a source of talent for these outside firms and we can help them identify good candidates.

However, please be aware that recruiters are looking for very specific types of individuals who possess specialized skills. Typically, they are seeking young lawyers from top schools or more senior professionals with portable business. Recruiters seldom, if ever, have opportunities for those who are seeking career changes. This is where our Career Services Group can help.

Q: Do you charge a fee for your services?

A: When we are serving as a recruiter, we do not ever charge an individual candidate a fee. However, if we are working with an individual client on identification of career options, resume development, resume distribution or coaching, we do charge a fee for our services. Typically, we provide professional career advisory and job search services on an hourly fee basis. We have a sliding fee scale. Our fees run from $225 to $315 per hour, depending upon the complexity of the case, the level of the candidate and their income.  We also provide package discounts. Many program packages carry an average hourly rate of a bit over $200, including discounts.

Q: What does a typical program cost?

A: There really are no “typical” programs. Some people need just an hour or two of career advice. Other people need comprehensive career assessment testing to identify viable options. Still other people only need a resume upgrade or distribution services. We are very “menu driven” and will seek to match an individual’s needs and budget with the appropriate services. On our Self-Help page, we have some services that are only a few
hundred dollars, while other cases can be as much as $7,500 or more. We have an excellent, low-cost facilitated self-help program for just under $1000, but most of our consulting programs are in the $1595 to $5500 range. Many of our clients are earning in the $95,000 – $195,000 range and find that our fees are very reasonable.

Q: Do you guarantee interviews or jobs?

A: No. Any organization that says it can guarantee someone an interview or a job is lying and is preying on the fears of its clients. We guarantee we’ll use all our knowledge, experience and resources to help you win interviews, and to secure a job offer. We bring tremendous expertise, decades of study on job search methods, and some considerable brainpower to the job search process. We can increase your odds of success and most likely shorten your search, but there are no guarantees except that we will work hard to help you.

Q: Will you work with anyone?

A: No. We are not right for everyone, and not everyone is right for us. We have strict standards about the candidates we will accept into our program. If we feel the candidate does not have the “right stuff” to be successful in a job search or re-careering, we will not accept the case.

Most attorneys know a bad case when it walks in the door. So, do we. While we cannot guarantee success, we only work with people whom we feel can be successful in our process.

Q: Why should I spend money on your services?

A: We are experts in job search and career change. Through our knowledge and resources, we may be able to shorten your job search by weeks or months. We can help you compete more effectively in the marketplace by creating compelling marketing materials and dynamic, innovative campaigns ….. Let’s do some math …..
Let’s say you are an out-of-work professional who had been earning $125,000. Every week that you are out of work you are losing $2,400 of income. Say you retain us for a mid-level program priced at $3,600. If, through our efforts, we are able to shorten your job search by a mere 1.5 weeks, you have broken even economically and you are back to work. If we can shorten your search by two months, you are ahead of the game by $15,600!

Does that make sense?

We are highly skilled in salary negotiations. It is not unusual for us to develop negotiation strategies that result in the client receiving $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 or more than the company’s original offer, an amount many times the fee we were paid.

 

 

Ask The Career Strategy Experts

If you have a specific question about a job search or career issue, email it to us.
While we cannot answer every single question, we will select ones that we feel
would be of general interest, and we will post the question and our answers in
an upcoming blog or newsletter. All questioners will be kept anonymous.

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If you have a career development or job search question for us,
please email it to us at  info@careerstrategiesgroup.com.
Please put “Ask the Experts” in the Subject line.

 

Thank you … We look forward to having a conversation with you soon.

 

And you can also make any comment or ask a question in this form below

Career Strategies Group and Perfect Match Recruiting Join Forces

For Immediate Release
Contact: Bruce Blackwell
Phone: 914-356-8182

 

Career Strategies Group, a 25-year-old career management company, has signed an affiliation agreement with Perfect Match Recruiting, a privately held firm specializing in legal, executive and healthcare recruiting, it was jointly announced by Bruce Blackwell, CEO of Career Strategies, and Doris Smith-Fellenz, founder and Executive Director of Perfect Match Recruiting.

“For many years we have worked closely with recruiters in an informal network; we supply candidates for some of their hard to fill positions, and they find employers for certain of our clients,” said Blackwell, who added, “we also do some recruiting on our own, but it was never a focus of our practice. To be really effective at recruiting, you need to be out there every day working with law firm hiring managers and top candidates. That’s not our forte, but that’s where Doris really excels. For years we have looked to affiliate with a solid recruiter, and I was thrilled to finally find Doris and her company.”

According to Smith-Fellenz, “I am excited about the synergies with Career Strategies Group. They have been around the legal profession for a long time, and have an amazing database of lawyers. The hardest part about legal search,” she said, “is not finding candidates … it’s finding good candidates. We feel that task will be made easier because of the resources of Career Strategies.” Smith-Fellenz and Blackwell added that she will ultimately be doing career counseling for attorneys, especially those in the earlier stages of their careers.

One of the other goals of the affiliation will be to expand both firms’ involvement in healthcare placement.

Before officially opening Career Strategies Group, Blackwell was doing healthcare recruiting and candidate screenings, and has healthcare operations and marketing consulting experience going back to the 1980s. Smith-Fellenz has significant experience in recruiting both clinical and non-clinical healthcare professionals for hospitals, senior living facilities and medical practices.

As a first step in this affiliation, Career Strategies has added a “Jobs” section to its website. Many of the postings listed will be from PMR. Applicants are advised to email their resumes to  PMRRecruiting@CareerStrategiesGroup.com.

Sometimes Career Strategies will do an initial interview with a candidate, but mostly that function will be taken over by Doris Smith-Fellenz and her team. Candidates who are not in specification with a PMR position may be referred back to Career Strategies for other services.

“I chose the name Perfect Match Recruiting” because that’s what I look to provide for my clients, whether law firm, in-house or other positions. We have very detailed specifications, and will do our utmost to find candidates in spec. We have to turn away most of the people who apply because, while they may be excellent in their professions and accomplished in many ways, they are not what my clients are seeking. In those cases, Career Strategies may be able to help the client find a position.”

Blackwell noted that in his years of experience, he typically has to go through 100 or more resumes to find just one candidate that matches the job specification that the client has prepared. “On a typical search, I will go through 500 or 600 resumes, get 5 or 6 client prospects, and then vet them. We usually send just 2 or 3 resumes to the client for interviewing,” he said.

“The ideal candidate for my law firm clients,” said Smith-Fellenz, “is 2 to 6 years out of law school, was on Law Review at a top tier school, had a high rank in class, had a federal clerkship, and had received scholastic or other awards. There are some fine lawyers out there who don’t meet these requirements, but this is what our clients want us to find. It is difficult,” she added, “to tell people that they are not candidates for jobs they know they can do well, but who don’t match the client’s specifications.”

“Another issue is finding Partners,” she said. “Most law firms prefer Partners, seven or more years out with a verifiable book of portable business, or who have a rare specialty.”

“There are also many very good attorneys” Smith-Fellenz states, “with several years of experience who are hard to place because clients are looking for people with very specific skill sets who can hit the ground running and start contributing right away. Clients don’t want to pay recruiting fees to find candidates who need a learning curve before they can be fully productive. They are paying for it, and they want what they want. They might very well consider ‘learning curve’ candidates, but won’t pay a fee to get them. That’s where Career Strategies can help.”

Career Strategies’ career management team often works with candidates who are not “recruitable” and helps them with career direction, resume development, resume distribution and job search coaching.

Perfect Match Recruiting is located in Ocean, NJ.  Career Strategies is located in Brewster, NY.

 

 

 

All About Us — Career Strategies Group

As specialists in job search and alternative careers since 1992, we help lawyers, executives and entrepreneurs find new positions and new careers in law, business, academics, or the non-profit sector through innovative methods and custom-designed programs. We have particular expertise in the career issues for those 50+ years old.

Our Career Services Group does career testing and options assessment for those who are seeking to explore their viable career alternatives. We also provide job search assistance, which includes resume writing and distribution, marketing plans and job search coaching. Our job search clients range from young professionals to those aged 60+. The CSG Group is a high service, low volume operation and only accepts 6 new clients per month.

Our Corporate Group does recruiting both direct and through our affiliate, Perfect Match Recruiting. PMR has three primary business areas: legal search, executive search and healthcare search. The Corporate Group also does outplacement, law firm practice development and business coaching.  Another affiliate, Career Strategies Institute, provides graduate or post-graduate students and younger professionals with low cost do-it-yourself tools and online instruction programs. Information about our services is available on our website.

Career Options for Lawyers

The Career Strategies process for job search and alternative career services begin with an initial consultation, a 30-45 minute in-depth review of your circumstances, career aspirations, marketing strategies and more. Even if we are not interested in taking you on as a client, you will leave that meeting much more informed about job search, alternative careers and career development than you were before you spoke with us. It will be time well spent.

While many of our clients have pursued alternative legal careers or alternative executive careers, many others have used our help to move up in their current career tracks, to start new businesses or to enhance their current business operations by better marketing or time management.

Our staff includes Ph. Ds, MBAs, Business Owners, Recruiters and JDs with both in-house and big law experience. Nearly all of us have had more than 25 years of experience in law or business, and all of us are highly qualified, caring professionals dedicated to helping our clients through career transitions, job searches and explorations of their career options.

For the individual job seeker, our services include:

  • Identification of viable career options and alternative careers based on objective analysis of skills and experience
  • Preparation of powerful resumes and personal marketing materials
  • Creation of highly individualized marketing action plans
  • Lead generation and job identification through our Contacts and Connections service
  • Coaching and guidance on campaign strategies and interviewing techniques
  • Distribution of resumes to targeted companies and recruiters through our massive contact database and specialized resources

For law firm and corporate clients, our services include:

  • Recruiting of attorneys, support staff and administrators through our relationship with PMR and other major recruiters
  • Outplacement programs for single professionals or groups of displaced employees
  • Practice development and business enhancement consulting to solo practitioners and law firms
  • Executive coaching for entrepreneurs and corporate managers

Credentials and Coverage

We offer a rare combination of marketing experience, in-depth knowledge of job search methods, and specific expertise in the special requirements of attorneys, senior executives and job seekers 50+. Our experience and guidance enable our clients to take control over their careers, identify their options, and then obtain the positions of their choice effectively and efficiently.

As recognized authorities on job search issues, we have been interviewed by news organizations including The New Jersey Lawyer, New Jersey Law Journal, Connecticut Law Tribune, News 12, Westchester Business Journal, the Newark Star-Ledger, the New York Post and others.

We have also lectured on job search and alternative career issues for legal and business groups in the Northeast, including the New York State Bar Association, the Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, numerous colleges and universities, the New Jersey Bar Association, the Association of Corporate Counsel and many others. Founder Bruce Blackwell is also one of a handful of professionals to have been asked to serve a Charter Member of the Career Counseling panel for the New York City Bar Association, and has been called “a leading career expert” by the New York State Bar Association.

Let’s start a conversation today!

What Career Strategies Group Can Do For YOU

Career Strategies Group helps people earning $125,000 or more per year find the right job at the right salary with the right work/life balance. We help Executives, Legal Professionals, Entrepreneurs, Government Officials and many other types of professionals.

The common theme among our clients is that they are smart, successful, and no longer love their jobs.

Imagine how much better your life would be if you really enjoyed your work or running your business. Well, you can! And we can help!

We have provided career guidance to thousands of clients and are A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau. Please enjoy my introductory video below:

 

Ways in which we can help :

Career Strategies is committed to providing all the services that a person seeking a career change, a new job or an alternative career could ever need. We believe we offer the most comprehensive array of job search services available anywhere. Above all, we have a distinguished career coaching staff of specialists in job search, and particularly in alternative careers for lawyers and executives.

We have been helping senior-level clients find new positions in law, business, non-profits and universities since 1992. But, we don’t stop there. (See our extensive list under the Alternative Careers tab on our website).

We provide career growth strategies for 50+, Gen X’s in their 40’s and even 30-somethings. Our knowledge and resources also help talented and accomplished people make the best choices for their personal and professional growth.

Our services include:

  • Career testing and assessment to identify realistic alternative career options
  • Powerful resumes and cover letters to present you effectively to the marketplace
  • Aid in finding companies and job leads, and not just relying on online postings
  • Coaching, mentoring and brainstorming about creative job search techniques
  • Interview preparation & salary negotiation to help you beat your competitors & land the offer.

We also offer low cost Self Help job search tools that include using social media job search options.

If you are a solo practitioner or business owner and are seeking ways to improve your career,
increase your revenues and quality of life, our coaches and business advisors can help you, too.

Seven Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job (even though you were the best applicant)

7-reasons
Seven Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job (even though you were the best applicant)

By Jesse Campbell

Editor’s Note: I have had it happen to me, in my own career, and it has happened to more than a few of the 2,400 clients I have counseled as their career advisor. — You are a perfect fit for the job. You meet all of the specifications in the Help Wanted posting. It sounds like they based the job description on your own resume! You apply for the job and never hear back. Worse, you interview, think you knocked ‘em dead, and never hear back or get a “sorry, but no” email.  Wonder what went wrong? Jesse Campbell, writing for financial organization MMI, has some explanations that you will find helpful. Here are Campbell’s thoughts. — B. Blackwell 

—–

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the workforce, chances are good you’ve experienced your fair share of rejection. Sometimes you take a shot in the dark at a job you’re not really qualified for and never hear anything back. “That’s fine,” you think to yourself. “I wasn’t really qualified for that job anyway.”

Sometimes, however, you are qualified for the job. Very qualified. You even come in for an interview that goes well, then later come back for another interview that goes well. Everything seems lined up for success, but then…well, nothing.

No matter how qualified you are, there are still a few reasons why you might not end up with the job – some you can control, some you can’t.

  1. The job disappeared.

When a job is posted, there are quite a few things going on behind the curtain that you simply won’t be privy to. And sometimes a posted job will suddenly vanish. Why? Maybe the position hadn’t officially been approved at the time HR began their search. Everyone assumed it would be approved, but then something changed and it wasn’t. Additionally, there’s the possibility that something significant changed during the search and now the position no longer makes business sense.

There’s also the possibility that the job was never really there in the first place. Sometimes a company has an internal candidate all lined up, but is required to go through the formal application process all the same.

  1. The job evolved during the search process

You have everything the employer is asking for. Seems like a match made in heaven, but sometimes the employer realizes during the course of the search that they actually need something else. Maybe someone came in with some skills or experiences they didn’t know they needed, or maybe another employee left recently and they’re trying to combine positions. Whatever the reason, your perfect skill set is no longer quite so perfect for the job.

  1. You came in a bit too early

A good job is going to receive many very good applicants. So many, in fact, that they may end up bleeding together a bit as the process wears on. That means the first applicant through the door has to be so outstanding that no one else can compare, or else risk fading from memory over time. If given the option, you may want to take one of the later interview slots.

  1. You didn’t do your research

Remember – it’s not about how great you are as an individual, it’s about how that greatness will translate for your new employer. That means you need understanding who you’re talking to and make sure you sell yourself in a way that will actually resonate.

  1. Someone else had an inside advantage

Another thing you won’t know about while navigating the application process – internal politics. No matter how qualified you are, and no matter how well you nail the interview, who you know still matters. And if someone else knows someone important within the company, you may be out of luck.

  1. You gave them a reason to disqualify you

When hiring managers are faced with stacks and stacks of qualified applicants, they start looking for a reason – any reason – to disqualify applicants. Complain too much about your former employer during the interview? You’re out. Post questionable things on social media? You’re out. Ask for special considerations right out of the gate? You’re out. It could even be something seemingly minor, like wearing too much perfume or cologne. The point is, do your best to not give anyone a reason to say no.

  1. Someone with similar qualifications is willing to do the same work for less

Finally, the fastest way to lose out a job is to price yourself out of the running. That doesn’t mean you have to take less than you’re worth, but it’s a good idea to try to delay the negotiations until after you’ve been offered the position.

Your “Un-natural” Network Connections can be the Best!

Looking for a Job? Did you Tell your Mechanic or Hairdresser?

Your “Un-natural” Network Connections can be the Best!

You’re at a networking event talking with someone, and you’re wondering to yourself — is this the best person for me to be talking to? Should I cut this short and seek out someone who might be a more useful contact or have better connections?

So writes Dave Opton, President of Execunet in a recent newsletter.

Opton goes on to talk about a fellow, John, who was on the job market. John was doing a lot of heavy networking and contacting everyone he thought could help him, but he wasn’t getting anywhere. One day, while getting his car fixed, he told the auto mechanic about his situation. When the mechanic offered to introduce him to some of his connections, John gave him a skeptical look. The mechanic countered by pointing to the Porsches, Mercedes and BMWs sitting at his shop. “Who do you think owns these cars? I know every one of them!” Lesson learned!

I call these “un-natural” connections – getting career help from people you would never expect could be of any value to you in your job search. We have countless stories about how our Career Strategies Group clients received invaluable aid from the most unlikely of sources.

One of my favorite stories concerns Joan, an all-American lawyer who had taken Japanese language lessons in high school and college. Her dream was to work for a Japanese-based company. She mentioned this one day to her hairdresser, who happened to be of Japanese extraction. Lo’ and behold, her hairdresser’s Dad was a senior executive with the New York office of a major Japanese bank. Joan is now on the legal team there!

Then there was Perry, a law firm lawyer who was seeking a legal position in the broadcast or cable TV industries. One weekend he went to a party at a friend’s house. There he met one of his other friend’s new girlfriends, who happened to be a secretary at a dentist’s office. He was small talking about his interest in TV, and she said she had a friend who was a legal secretary at a major cable TV company. One thing lead to another and Perry was able to start his career in the entertainment industry – because his friend’s new girlfriend’s friend.

Another favorite Career Strategies story is about Maria, who wanted to get into public relations in the fashion industry. One day on the way to court, she pulled into a gas station. Not being the type of woman who pumped her own gas, she asked the attendant, a young college student, for assistance. She mentioned how much she hated going to court each day, and how much she dreamed about doing fashion industry PR. The gas station attendant said his older sister was Vice President of Marketing for a major fashion designer. Maria is today writing press releases and supervising photo shoots for that fashion house.

The moral of the story is you can get the most valuable career help from the people you least expect to get it from. Just tell them your story. As Execunet’s Dave Opton concludes, someone’s title will tell you what they do, but not who they know. So, the next time you’re at a networking event, at the grocery store check out, or at the gas station, talk to the people there and mention what you are looking for — because you never know.

Good hunting!

The Top 10 Reasons Why Lawyers Seek Alternative Careers – Part 1 of 2

The law can be a wonderful profession, and it is for many people. But it can also be draining and frustrating. Even for those who love the profession, after practicing for 10, 15, 20 years or more, some lawyers are simply ready for a change. Nowhere is it written that you must stay with one career your entire life.

My colleagues and I have counseled several thousand lawyers on re-careering and job search issues. Based on our nearly 23 years of experience, we have compiled The Top 10 Reasons for Wanting to Leave the Law.

We are going to share 5 of them today. We are going to discuss the second 5 in an upcoming issue, but if you don’t want to wait, just email us at info@careerstrategiesgroup.com and we will send it to you right away.

THE #1 REASON WHY LAWYERS WANT TO LEAVE THE PRACTICE …..

#1: Quality of Life — law firm and solo practice attorneys typically put in 10-12 hour days and often work on weekends. They have little time with their families, and little energy left to enjoy the fruits of their labors. They may be making good money, but there’s no time to do anything with it.  If you are single, the demands of your work make it hard to develop a relationship. If you are married, it’s hard to maintain a relationship. And if you are parent, you miss your children’s Little League games, back-to-school nights and much of their growing up. It is no wonder that many of the people who call us are in their late 30s and mid-40s, and realize the best things in life are passing them by while they write midnight motions and memoranda.

#2: Billable hours — clients often report they are under increasing pressure to produce billable hours.

In some cases, clients say they are under more pressure to produce billables than they are to produce quality work. The system is designed so that you are rewarded for how many hours you bill rather than how well you represent the interests of your clients.

#3. Business Development – People don’t go to law school because they want to be salesmen. Many of our clients like the work of being a lawyer, but do not like the constant reality of having to “sell” their services. The cold, hard fact of law firm or solo life is that you have to get the business to do the business. If you can’t generate a sizeable book of new client billings each year, you will have a hard time being truly successful in your career as a law firm attorney.

#4. Negative, adversarial environment — every day, it’s a battle. Instead of creating win-win scenarios,

there’s tremendous pressure to savage the opposition, and to make simple issues more difficult. There’s needless posturing, bellicosity and pounding of chests when in reality, the same issues could be easily and amicably resolved if both sides were simply reasonable. But that’s not the system. Our clients tell us they not only have to fight opposing clients, they also often have to fight with other lawyers within their own firm. Most disaffected lawyers would prefer to be in an atmosphere that is cooperative and collegial. Wouldn’t you?

#5. Roteness/Boredom — after years of handling similar issues, a “been there, done that” mentality

can set in and, except for rare cases, the work can become no longer challenging. Lawyers, as a breed, are “smarter than the average bear” and have a low boredom threshold. They like “solving puzzles” and being creative, but after 10, 15 or more years doing the same thing, the thrill is gone. Often, you can predict the outcome of a case within a few minutes after reading the file, but you have to go through all of the motions anyway.

So why do unhappy attorneys stay in law firms or private practice?

There are two key obstacles to career change for lawyers. A common concern among attorneys is a lack of awareness of what else they can do besides lawyering. A second issue is a lack of awareness of the types of positions that exist in the ‘outside’ world. Both of these problems can be overcome.

If there’s anything I have learned after so many years of counseling attorneys, it’s that lawyers have the intellectual horsepower to learn just about anything. They have analytical skills, research abilities, problem solving skills and both written and verbal presentation talents —  that’s not a bad platform for a career change. What company couldn’t make good use of someone with those talents?”

We  provide a full range of services for attorneys in transition. Our specialty is career change for attorneys in mid-life who are seeking to explore career alternatives, either in the law or in business, academics or non-profit agency administration.  We serve clients nationally. A boutique-sized practice, we limit ourselves to accepting just over 100 new cases per year.

If you are an attorney thinking about exploring your career options, call Career Strategies today.

Guide to Finding a New Job During the Holidays

There is a myth out there that says that companies don’t hire during the holidays. But it’s just that…a myth. Just ask the jobseeker who was offered a job on Black Friday. Or the one who was invited in for a second interview two days before Christmas.

Putting your job search on hold between Thanksgiving and New Year’s isn’t just a bad idea — it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Like hockey great Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” If you’re not looking for a job during the holidays, you’re not going to find one.

Employers hire all 12 months of the year. In fact, many new positions are funded to start with a new budget year — which often coincides with a new calendar year. Other hiring managers have hiring budgets that must be spent before the end of the year — “use it or lose it.” Both of these scenarios offer opportunities for jobseekers in December.

The holidays also offer some natural opportunities to network and spread the word about your job search: there are company parties, social gatherings, end-of-the-year professional association events, and even Christmas cards and letters. Many of these strategies are available whether you’re unemployed or if you have a job but are looking to improve your job situation.

Working on your job search during the holidays may also mean less competition from other candidates who put their job search on hold. Many people wait until January — making it a New Year’s Resolution — to look for a new job. If you wait until January 2 to start — or resume — your job search, you’ll have more competition.

It may even be easier to connect with a hiring manager during December as many key personnel are in the office while lower level staff takes paid holiday time off during the month.

Even if you aren’t offered a job in December, you can lay a lot of the groundwork by making connections before the end of the year, making it more likely that you’ll be hired quickly in the new year.

11 Ideas for Job Searching During the Holidays

Here are some specific strategies you can use in your holiday job search.

Accept all invitations you receive for holiday parties and get-togethers. Whether it’s a social or charity event, dinner party, spouse’s Christmas party, or professional association event, use these opportunities to reacquaint yourself with people who might be useful in your job search, and make new connections. Be sure to follow-up.

Re-connect with old friends and colleagues. Your network can be a great source of information, job leads, and referrals. Get back in touch with previous co-workers and supervisors, people from high school and college, former neighbors, etc.

Host your own holiday party. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or elaborate. Hosting your own holiday open house, dinner party, or get-together can help jumpstart your job search (but that shouldn’t be the focus of your party, of course!). However, extending an invitation is a great excuse to reach out and talk with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while!

Ask for specific information or help. For example, ask if the person knows anyone who works at “x” company instead of asking if they know of anyone hiring. During the holidays, your contacts might have more time to be of assistance, and they might be in a mood to be generous at this time of the year!

Volunteer. There are many opportunities during the holidays to give your time to charities and organizations. Some of these opportunities might also help you build your network, make new connections, and bolster your résumé.

Use holiday cards to connect. If Christmas cards, holiday letters, and e-greetings are part of your end-of-the-year tradition, mentioning your job search (if you’re currently unemployed, or your position is ending) can be a useful strategy. Let people know you’re looking!

Create a business networking card. Develop a business card that lists your contact information and social media links — especially to your LinkedIn profile. You can use this in lieu of your normal business card — or instead of it, if you’re unemployed.

Update your social media presence. If you don’t yet have a LinkedIn profile, now is the time to create yours. If you have one, give it a fresh look. Is it time to update it? Can you increase your number of Connections — or solicit additional Recommendations?

Look for opportunities to get your foot in the door. If you’re currently unemployed, look for temporary or seasonal jobs that may lead to full-time positions.

Connect with recruiters. Many are trying to reach year-end recruiting goals at this time of the year, and you may have just the skills they are looking for.

Set a specific goal for your job search. Instead of setting a goal to get a new job, your goal might be to make a certain number of new connections or to schedule a certain number of informational interviews. Making progress on this type of goal will ultimately help you achieve your goal of a new job.

Make sure you’re reachable. You might be asked to interview at unusual times — for example, the day before Christmas. Keep your phone on — and make sure you’re checking your voice mail and email regularly!

 

Challenges To Overcome With a Holiday Job Search

Conducting a job search in December isn’t without its challenges, however. While some hiring managers are hard at work throughout the month, others may be on vacation. Some companies also close during the week from Christmas to New Year’s Day.

The holidays can also distract you from your job search. Shopping, vacations, family activities, and holiday parties can all take away time from your job search, if you’re not careful.

Check your attitude, too. The holidays are a season of joy and thankfulness, but that can be tough when you’re out of work. However, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude — or at least “fake it until you make it.” Even if you’re not feeling it, “act as if” you are, because employers want to hire positive, optimistic employees.

Also, don’t overextend yourself during the holidays. Be sure to exercise, get enough sleep, and eat well.

And watch out for holiday employment scams. In your desire to make extra cash for the holidays, don’t get caught up in job-related scams — like fake mystery shopping gigs, package processing rip-offs, or work-at-home cons. Check out job opportunities carefully, and never accept payments for work you haven’t done yet. And never deposit a check into your account and wire or transfer payments out before the payment has fully cleared (wait at least two weeks).

Don’t be surprised if you don’t hear anything back right away. Because a lot of people use their accumulated vacation time before the end of the year, you may find yourself waiting a bit longer than usual for a response to your résumé or follow-up after a job interview. Be patient, but persistent.

If it’s your goal to find a new job in the new year, don’t put off your job search just because it’s the holiday season. A job search that starts in December gives you the opportunity to get hired before the end of the year — or to have momentum and a head start on other candidates once the calendar turns over on January 1.