6 things to do during the hiring off season

Written by Emilie Brunet

Ah, December.

Widely known in the corporate world as the month of “Let’s circle back to this after the holidays” and “We’ll be in touch in the New Year.”

Most offices slow down in December. People are concerned with wrapping things up before the end of the year. New projects are postponed to January.

And hiring takes a backseat.

It’s not that there’s zero corporate or office roles that need filling in December, it’s just that even if you apply to them, you’ll likely only get an interview in January.

So what do you do?

It’s definitely not a time to twiddle your thumbs (or on the other side of the spectrum, spiral into a panic).

Instead, you can take the time to get yourself super prepared so that when 2024 kicks off, you’re right there, ready to go!

Here are 6 things to do during the hiring “off-season”.

1. Get feedback from someone about your CV

This point assumes that you’ve already created your CV, so maybe start by doing that.

Often times we’re so rushed with wanting to apply to jobs that we don’t take the time to properly review or proofread our CV. We just want to get anything attached to an email to send to the hiring manager.

The problem with that, is that your CV is your first impression. So it needs to be spot on.

During December, or the hiring off-season, take the time to send your CV to a few trusted friends and family members.

Ideally, you want to talk to the friends who are good at tough love. Ie, won’t just tell you “it looks good” without giving you any tangible feedback.

You know that aunt who always comments on your ripped jeans? Yeah, she’s a good person to send it to. Your jeans won’t be the only things ripped apart after that. [Proceeds to laugh maniacally at my own joke.]

Use this time to really take your CV to the next level. Check out some tips we’ve shared in the past here.

2. Upskill, take a course or refresh your knowledge

December is a great time to notice where you have discrepancies in your competencies and start that continuing education.

Maybe you know that you’re not as strong at React as you’d like to be. Take the time to review that topic.

Or perhaps you know that your communication skills leave something to be desired. Can you hop onto Udemy or Coursera and take a short, free course?

You don’t need to break the bank with what course you take, but just find a way to learn something new or expand upon your knowledge so you can throw an extra line onto your CV or an extra skill onto your LinkedIn profile.

3. Post on LinkedIn

Speaking of LinkedIn, now is the perfect time to look at that LinkedIn profile you’ve been neglecting.

Maybe you already go on LinkedIn frequently to check out jobs. This December, start posting a little bit more.

If you’ve been so busy applying to jobs that you’ve still put off posting a high-quality profile picture, now you can.

Post about the course you’re taking.

Or an interesting article you read.

Use this time to make your LinkedIn relevant again in preparation for the New Year. If you want some tips, last week we wrote a blog post about the Ultimate Bare Minimum LinkedIn checklist, check it out here.

4. Draft your cover letter template

We posted a blog the other day about the importance of writing a cover letter (even though we know that they are highly overrated).

December is a great time to really hone your writing skills and put together a proper cover letter template.

Your template should be easily customizable so you can adjust and update it to reflect the job that you are applying for down the line.

Once you have the basic template, again, take the time to get it reviewed by a friend or family member.

5. Build out your portfolio or website

Depending on the industry you’re hoping to get hired in, you might consider building out a proper Github portfolio or simply showcasing your projects on a website.

Having a professional website, especially if you work in web development or web design can take your application up a notch.

It doesn’t need to be complicated, you can use your full name as the domain name (don’t make it www.websites-are-cool.com).

Throw in a little introduction about yourself and the kind of work you do and then showcase your projects.

If you already have a website, maybe December is a good time to revamp it, update it and ensure that it’s really clean and reflective of where you are now for when you apply for new roles in 2024.

6. Rest!

A very underrated part of trying to find a job is also just resting and unplugging. Searching for work can be really taxing, whether it’s how much time it takes up or whether it’s just mentally and emotionally draining.

Rest is an important part of doing anything because we cannot show up as our best selves if we’re absolutely burnt out.

But not all “rest” benefits us in the same way. Scrolling on your phone for 2 hours straight while you dissociate isn’t actually as restful as we’d like to believe it is.

This article outlines the 7 different types of rest and why we need all seven. But here’s a quick summary of what they are and some examples.

  1. Physical Rest:
  2. Passive: Sleeping / napping
  3. Active: Restorative or gentle yoga, stretching, getting a massage
  4. Mental Rest:
  5. Mindfulness, deep breathing, time away from work, screens, etc.
  6. Sensory Rest:
  7. Turn off bright lights and computer screens, turning down loud nosies or putting in earplugs
  8. Creative Rest:
  9. Going outdoors, to a museum, or engaging with art (and no, not just on TikTok)
  10. Emotional Rest:
  11. Expressing emotions freely — this can be done by journaling, talking to a trusted friend, etc.
  12. Social Rest:
  13. This doesn’t mean lock yourself in a room and talk to no one, it’s more about being intentional with how you spend your social energy; engaging with people that revive us and not just exhaust us.
  14. Spiritual Rest:
  15. Meditation, community involvement, prayer.

Taking the time to fit in some proper rest into your month will allow you to come back refreshed and ready to go in January.

Anything else you’d add?

About the author

Hey, I'm Emilie 👋🏻

I'm the Business Support Manager at Journey Education. I have always had a passion for writing, organization and finding creative solutions. I aim to be personable, empathetic and compassionate and believe that kindness can go along way in both business and life.

Having worked and organized with anti-capitalist, feminist and queer organizations, I strongly believe that EVERYONE deserves, not just a living wage, but a thriving wage and that it should be the priority of every business to create an inclusive, caring and diverse work environment that doesn't just ensures the work happens, but allows people to be people while the work is happening!

My approach to everything I do reflects my training in trauma-informed practices, active listening and harm reduction as well as my interest in understand the way people work, behave and exist as their full human self. I want to create safer spaces for people to explore, create and excel in a supportive environment - whether that's in life or at work.