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How Job Seekers Can Utilize Their Holiday Break

From organizational spreadsheets to online courses to volunteering, here are some ways to utilize your holiday break while job searching.

Many people think of the holidays as a time when employers are out of the office and aren’t actively seeking candidates. However, this isn’t entirely true as many companies use this time to hire, as they should. Not only that, but a candidate’s competition is low since this isn’t such a popular time to be job-hunting. Also, start dates may become more negotiable and flexible over this time period. And if you’re a freelancer, it could also be an ideal time to pitch.

This time of the year brings many things: more family time, travel, food, and more. Consider giving yourself the gift of a new job this holiday season.

Use downtime (and PTO) to update your resumes & portfolio

For most employees, the end of December through the new year is a time for rest and reflection. If you’re currently employed, use as much PTO (paid time off) as you can to focus on the two main components that will land you an interview in most creative fields: your resume and portfolio.

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Get organized

Now is the time to make up for all the procrastination surrounding getting organized—or the tasks you may have neglected in the midst of a challenging or hectic year. Sometimes life can feel too overwhelming (especially when job hunting) to spend time stepping back and assessing your actual job-hunting process.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you get organized:

  • Do I have a list of my top potential employers?
  • Have I created spreadsheets of jobs and where I’m at in each stage of them?
  • Have I set up daily job alerts?

Gain certifications

Is there a skill you’ve been wanting to add to your resume, but just haven’t yet? Your holiday break is an opportune time to polish up on those courses or credentials needed for your dream job. You may even be able to gain a few certifications, as places like LinkedIn Learning offer courses that span from two to four hours.


Lastly, if you’re wanting to fill your time with something other than sending out applications but still want to improve your resume and add value to yourself as a potential employee, you should consider volunteering in your community. Not only does recent volunteer work look stellar on a resume, but it also comes with other benefits like taking a step outside of yourself, and pushes you out of your comfort zone.

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