Using the Holiday Season to Prepare for the Hiring Season

The holiday season is officially upon us! For those of us that work in higher education this time of year brings many highs and lows, but it also marks the eve of our industry’s peak hiring season. As you prepare to close out the semester, I encourage you to dedicate some time to refresh your job search strategies and documents so you are prepare for the next opportunity.

  1. UPDATE YOUR RESUME OR CV. Start by updating each section to ensure it accurately reflects your current experience. Secondly, search for similar jobs on www.higheredjobs.com to identify language to better articulate your experiences and align it with current industry jargon.
  2. GET A NEW HEADSHOT. When’s the last time you updated your professional headshot? At the close of the holiday break, think of how rested you’ll be and how great you’ll look in a new photo. Also consider taking this opportunity to diversify your photo stock by including different poses, backgrounds, and styles of pictures.
  3. REVISE YOUR COVER LETTER. Even though every job application should include a unique cover letter, take some time to review and revise your master cover letter to ensure its accuracy and message. Consider asking a friend or colleague to also review the letter to allow you to consider outside perspectives.
  4. RESEARCH CURRENT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS. Interview questions come in two forms: traditional or trendy. Take some time to reflect on how you might answer traditional questions considering your more recent job experiences and the example you may use to strengthen your message. Secondly, research trendy interview questions so you can begin preparing your response.
  5. CONNECT WITH YOUR REFERENCES. Educators are fortunate in that we celebrate two New Year’s each year. Consider reviewing your reference list and sending them a quick message to say hello at the beginning of the year. Regardless of your plans to enter the job market, it’s a good idea to periodically say hello and let people know that the authenticity of your relationship comes first.

If you’re looking for a more aggressive plan consider these tips as well:

  1. Use holiday meals to practice your dinner etiquette.
  2. Shop for new interview attire during holiday sales.
  3. Network during holiday gatherings to explore new service opportunities and side hustles.
  4. Take some time to get caught up on news related to your industry.
  5. Find new mentors, including people you may never meet, but admire and respect.

There is opportunity and wisdom all around you – just be open to exploring what it has to offer.

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