The upcoming holiday season is going to offer unique career development challenges and opportunities. This is the time to start planning.
There are at least 3 reasons to strategize now for holiday job search and networking:
- Holiday hiring trends will be unusual this year,
- Different kinds of companies will be hiring, and
- Your networking strategy will have to change, too.
As a result of the Pandemic, it is fair to say holiday shoppers will not crowd into malls, movie theaters and restaurants in many parts of the country this year. There won’t be large parties, and even smaller home and office functions may be inadvisable or not permitted. Traditional holiday business networking opportunities won’t happen. Many regular holiday jobs won’t be available, either. Nonetheless, there will still be holiday jobs, and opportunities to expand your network of business and job search contacts.
Holiday hiring trends will be unusual this year.
We know that in much of the country, you will not get a job catering parties or serving customers in large department stores. People also are not traveling to theme parks or flying on airlines. It has been widely reported, for example, that Disney has laid-off about 28,000 employees from their theme parks, and some airlines have asserted they will downsize thousands without government help. Even New York’s public transit system has, according to reports, lost 90% of its revenue—an unimaginable situation less than one year ago.
Amazon, according to a YouTube video produced by Melanie from CGL Recruiting, is hiring thousands of people nationwide for the holiday season. Delivery services are also going to do well this year because everything people purchase online has to be shipped to the customer.
It’s worth your time to watch Melanie’s video on landing a seasonal job at Amazon, so I will not spend a lot of time on her tips here. Since I focus on career marketing tools, I will concentrate on her resume and cover letter tips.
First, it is essential to look at the correct Web site for Amazon jobs. Go to AmazonJobs, and not their shopping site. Melanie also warned viewers that fraudulent vendors are offering Amazon jobs for a fee. Employers, not job-seekers, pay reputable recruiters. I have also found that the best job search practice is going directly to employer sites, and not to intermediaries.
My favorite topic for this blog, of course, is resume tips. Melanie notes that the Amazon Jobs site allows job-seekers to upload only one resume, regardless of the number of jobs you apply for. That means you should upload a great general resume. You can find our resume examples here.
Also, Melanie pointed out that the Amazon Jobs site does not accept cover letters. We mentioned last week that it is important to know whether or not your prospective employers expect cover letters, so this is valuable information to have up front.
Some job-seekers feel their cover letter has valuable keywords and other information they want Amazon or another prospective employer to see. There is a “hack” for this. Add your cover letter as your last page in the resume file you upload.
You should be cautious with this strategy. Employers value candidates that follow instructions, so consider that when you choose to send something the employer does not want you to send them.
We can expect hiring to continue in other areas as well. As we have reported previously, IT, financial services, healthcare, supermarkets, and related essential services have continued hiring during the Pandemic. In other words, keep searching even if Amazon does not have jobs that match your knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Your networking strategy will have to change, too.
This year, there will be few large professional holiday gatherings, and perhaps few smaller family and office events, too. Ordinarily, these gatherings and parties offer wonderful opportunities to let colleagues, friends, and relatives know in a positive and relaxed way that you are seeking a new opportunity.
This year, you will have to adjust your strategy to suit networking opportunities afforded through Zoom virtual holiday celebrations and family check-ins. My suggestion is to have a 30-second “elevator” pitch ready, instead of the 2-minute or 3-minute update you may share at a party.
An even more positive side of the story is that virtual events can attract people from a wider geographic area than conventional events. You may have the opportunity to share your availability for employment and your career interests with people in other parts of the country that you may not ordinarily converse with. More jobs are virtual, too, so you may be able to interview for and ultimately accept positions in parts of the country where you would not normally plan to work.
Create networking opportunities for yourself even if you don’t have professional and personal virtual gatherings. Managers in many industries are less busy and more open to conversations during the holiday season. Send short holiday greetings to everyone relevant in your network, and offer them a chance to check-in with you for about 15 minutes via Zoom or phone. Set up an online calendar, if you don’t already have one, to make scheduling easy. You’ll make progress even if only a few people agree to have conversations.
This holiday season may offer some great job opportunities and networking possibilities, even though it may seem less festive than usual.Don’t give up!! We are here to help you prepare the resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile narrative you need to get started. Also, don’t hesitate to contact me for a short phone or Zoom chat about your 2021 goals even if you are not ready for a job search right now. Click here for my calendar link