Holiday hiring blues???

November 17, 2009 at 12:53 pm Leave a comment

With just a little more than a week until Thanksgiving, the number of “shopping days” for finding a job before the holiday season gets into full swing is a topic on the minds of many job hunters. Conventional wisdom has it that, just like in August when D.C. clears out for vacations, late November and December is a dead period for job hunting as companies aren’t paying serious attention to searches.

Experts say this is partly true and they don’t advise starting a job search during this period if you can avoid it. (Sadly, employers don’t always time layoffs conveniently, though, do they?, with some journalism jobs cut last week and more expected this week.) Yet recruiters say hidden opportunities exist. And if your job hunt is already in full swing, here are some ways to make the most out of your search at this season:

*Though employers may not be adding jobs in the weeks before the year ends, many have new budgets starting with 2010 and will be filling jobs that start after Jan. 1. If you suspect that’s the case with a company in which you’re interested, let the hiring manager know that you’d be fine with starting a job in January. If you can get an offer soon, you could take a stress-free holiday break in mid-to-late December before starting a new job. Wouldn’t that be nice?

*Because the conventional wisdom about hiring in this period is pervasive, experts say the competition lessens a bit as  some job hunters put their searches on hold. So it may actually be a good time to try to get your resume to the top of a pile or to connect with a hiring manager who you’ve had some difficulty reaching. Other steps may have to wait until managers are more available but at least you will have connected.

*Be available. If possible, be reachable at such times as the days before and after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some managers catch up on hiring tasks during down times and if you answer the phone or respond to an email quickly — and better yet, could be available to meet with them on short notice — you may beat out some of your less available rivals. As a hiring manager several years ago, I used this time to contact candidates for a reporter opening. One was happy to meet the day before Thanksgiving and though I still considered the others, this candidate interviewed well and became the leading candidate for a position I wanted to fill quickly. They got the job. Use availability to your advantage.

*Use this time to network and meet with contacts. Again, busy professionals may have a bit more unscheduled work time around the holidays as their business temporarily slows. Ask to meet with them for coffee and always ask for a few more contacts at the end of the session.

*Many professional associations and affinity groups have holiday gatherings and events — some open to prospective members as well as their own membership — in this period that could prove to be good networking opportunities. Show your face and bring your business cards. Immediately follow up with potential contacts. Who knows, that eggnog you shared just may lead to a job in the new year!

*More good news to report on the hiring front…Bart Jansen, a long-time Hill correspondent as well as a member of the CQ-Roll Call “Gang of 45,” has landed a reporting job in Washington with Gannett, covering Florida. Bart’s comment on landing well:  “So they won’t evict me from the Senate press gallery that easily.” Congrats to him! Please pass along news of job hunts ending successfully so I can share it here.

*As always, some job leads to pass along…Go get them while they’re hot!

*This next opening is courtesy of the good folks at the Pulse at businessjournalism.org for a business/financial writer in nearby Columbia, Md., at the National Association of Credit Management:

Biz/finance writer opening at NACM

The National Association of Credit Management is looking to hire a business and financial writer to drive its communications efforts.

 

NACM was founded in 1896 and describes itself an advocate for business credit and financial management professionals.

More about the job:

“The position requires that the staff writer meet regular deadlines, write and edit short and feature-length articles, news briefs and ads for the association’s magazine, online newsletter and social media presence as well as other tasks.”

To see the full job post click here.

*Main Justice, a Web site that covers the Justice Department and related issues, has a few openings in D.C.:

Main Justice
Managing Editor
Location: Washington D.C.

Main Justice, the top news source focusing on the Department of Justice, has an immediate opening for a Managing Editor. We are looking for an editor with three or more years experience at a specialty publication, newsletter or niche site. Candidates should have an understanding of Washington politics and policy and will have covered one of the following areas in their careers: antitrust, False Claims Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, financial fraud, environmental issues or tax policy. The ideal candidate will enjoy mastering even the most minute details of the subject area, be able to edit well and quickly, enjoy developing reporters’ talents, be skilled with multi-media and social media, and have (or be willing to learn) database skills.  Managing Editor will oversee all content generated by our team of journalists, from aggregated items to long-form multimedia features. Candidate will also be comfortable participating in panel discussions and conducting interviews. We are a dynamic, well-funded, revenue-generating news site that is moving quickly. Please apply only if you have the requisite experience. Please send resume and cover letter to editors@mainjustice.com with “Managing Editor” as the subject line. EOE

Main Justice
Intern
Location: Washington D.C.

Main Justice, the top news source focusing on the Department of Justice, has an immediate opening for an intern. Interns have the opportunity to cover events with the Attorney General, attend congressional hearings and write stories on the Justice Department. Unpaid internship lengths and time periods vary. Interns must be in or have recently completed a master’s program in journalism or related field. Interns must be available a minimum of three days a week and can receive school credit. Please send resume, clips and cover letter to editors@mainjustice.com with “Intern” as the subject line. EOE

*Finally, the House Periodicals Gallery needs an assistant. The link and job description follows, yet those who are interested had better move fast as the open period expires tomorrow:

http://jobview.usajobs.gov/getjob.aspx?JobID=84389638&aid=51176837-5119&WT.mc_n=125&rc=6&TabNum=1



Third Assistant
SALARY RANGE: 0.00 - 0.00 USD /year Starting at $60,151 OPEN PERIOD: Wednesday, November 04, 2009 to Wednesday, November 18, 2009
SERIES & GRADE: HS-0301-7/7 POSITION INFORMATION: Full-Time  Permanent
DUTY LOCATIONS: vacancy(s) in one of the following locations:   1 vacancy - Washington DC Metro Area, DC
WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED: Applications will be accepted from US Citizens and Non-Citizens as allowed by appropriations and statute.
JOB SUMMARY:
This position provides administrative support for facilitating media coverage of the House by the periodical press. Work includes providing administrative assistance to the director and other Gallery staff. Work also includes delivering a variety of services to members of Congress and their staff. Work is performed under the supervision of the Gallery Director and Deputy Director, respectively.

Happy hunting!

Jodi

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