Rethinking the holiday hiring slowdown

December 4, 2009 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

Job hunters this month are constantly being told that while there are plenty of networking opportunities with holiday parties and events (see yesterday’s post on “holiday networking”) actual hiring grinds to a halt this month. And while it’s always wise to keep one’s expectations in check while job hunting,  hiring experts say more happens on the job front in December than is commonly acknowledged.

Here are four holiday job hunting myths and how job seekers can bust them:

*Myth: No one is hiring in December.

While the holiday can be a distraction for some hiring managers and many are on vacation later in the month, for the next few weeks a fair amount of hiring activity is taking place, experts say. For instance, some companies need to spend money in their budgets before the end of the year — “use-it-or-lose-it” funds that require a relatively quick hire. Other companies may want to tie up some loose ends on an ongoing job search or two before the year ends. And key positions sometimes open up in November or December, openings that hiring managers have no choice but to fill quickly. And if you are dealing with an executive recruiter, they may have incentive to wrap up searches as they want to secure their commission before the year ends.

*Myth: The good jobs aren’t being filled in December so you’d be wasting your time.

Experts say that, partly because of a lack of competition in December as many hunters suspend their searches, job hunters have just as good a chance to land something this month as they do at other times of the year. Also, some hiring managers are more relaxed and may have more time (before the actual week of Christmas and New Year’s) to give to searches as they have fewer conferences and out-of-town travel to eat up their time this month. And take advantage of networking holiday events to mingle with those who have your resume in front of them!

*Myth: By mid-December, everyone is heading out on vacation, so you might as well skip town, too.

As noted in an earlier post (“Holiday hiring blues???”) you can use availability to your advantage. While no one would fault job hunters for taking a few days off in the holiday season, if you can be available to come in for an interview or a follow-up with little notice and others can’t, you may get the job while your rival is lolling on a beach somewhere — still jobless. Hiring managers are impressed by those who make the process easier for them. And in the days right before and after Christmas and New Year’s, for example, recruiters and hiring managers may have extra time to devote to filling jobs — so be available, at least by phone.

*Myth: After the first of the year, the hiring picture improves significantly so it’s best to wait until after Jan. 1 to get serious about your search.

Most hiring managers aren’t tied to a month for hiring — they want to fill a job as soon as the position is budgeted and open, and want to work through the process as it makes sense. And even if some jobs are not budgeted until January, hiring managers often want to get the process moving so they can place someone in the job as soon as budget allows. In these days — especially in journalism — of few new openings, recruiters and managers want to take advantage of every hiring opportunity they have. And if you wait until January, you likely won’t land until February or March or after — so get going now!

*A request from a former CQ’er, who is researching a free-lance piece on job hunting in this environment:

A freelance reporter is looking for job applicants who have been asked to fill out elaborate questionnaires or write essays, just to get an interview. It appears to be a new trend, as more hiring managers seek to whittle down the large number of applicants they receive, and save time interviewing multiple candidates. Is it time consuming? Is it fair? Or is it a good opportunity to show skills beyond what’s in a cover letter and resume? If you would like to share your experience, please email Matthew Berger at Hiring managers who would like to share their stories are welcome as well.

*As always, some job leads to pass along:

*The first is for a supervising managing editor for Voice of America:
Supervisory Managing Editor
Broadcasting Board of Governors – Washington, DC
SUPERVISORY MANAGING EDITOR Salary Range: 102,721.00… reporting.  Coordinates with Division and Service editors responsible for new media, television, and radio… $102,721 – $133,543 a year
From Federal Government Jobs

*For those who know Arabic and have good editing skills, SAIC in Reston has a position that may be appealing:
Editor/Arabic Linguist
Science Applications International Corporation/ SAIC – Reston, VA
has an opening for an Editor/Arabic Linguist. 1… environment * Excellent interpersonal and communications skills * Strong computer skills, including use of…

*The American College of Ob/Gyn in D.C. is looking for a newsletter editor:

Newsletter Editor
Job ID: 6216342
Position Title: Newsletter Editor
Company Name: The American College of Ob/Gyn
Industry: Health/Medical
Job Function: Writer/Editor
Location(s): Washington, Dist. Columbia, 20024, United States
Posted: November 16, 2009
Entry Level: No
Job Type: Full-Time
Job Duration: Indefinite
Min Education: BA/BS/Undergraduate
Min Experience: 5-7 Years
Contact Person: Penny Murphy
Email Address:
Phone: (202) 863-2451

*And finally, the Society of Interventional Radiology is looking for an assistant managing editor:

Assistant Managing Editor

Would you like to work with innovative, enthusiastic, and collegial physician leaders who are developing the most cutting edge, 21st century patient therapies in medicine? Would you like to be part of a team that is building tomorrow’s physician practices today?

The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) is a national organization of physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals dedicated to improving public health through disease management and minimally invasive, image-guided therapeutic interventions. Today, SIR continues to maintain steady membership growth with more than 4,000 physician and allied health care members. SIR currently has an opening for an Assistant Managing Editor for its flagship publication, the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (JVIR)

In this position, you will be responsible for the management of the production of the monthly journal, both in print and online, and any journal supplements. This includes overseeing the acquisition and production of material for the journal that is outside the normal workflow and obtaining any permissions or licenses required. You will also review the proofs of each article and of each issue as a whole and review all final advertisements, both paid and in house. In addition, you will be responsible for ensuring that all content on the journal’s online platform is kept up to date. The Assistant Managing Editor will be the primary liaison to the journal publisher for all production matters. In addition, the position supports the production processes for other scientific and educational-related publications and products. The position requires a meticulous project manager who is deadline driven and possesses excellent editing skills. The ideal candidate will have experience with the editorial and production process of medical or scientific journals, demonstrated project management skills, copyediting and proofreading skills, and excellent communication skills.

The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree with 3-5 years of progressively responsible experience working in a journal editorial office or similar environment. The candidate will also have the following qualifications and experience:


  1. Excellent project management skills
  2. Ability to work well independently and proactively
  3. Excellent written and oral communication skills
  4. Superior organizational skills and strong attention to detail
  5. Ability to appropriately interact at various levels, from junior staff through to senior management, within the organization, and as well with physician volunteers in a member-service environment.


  1. Bachelor’s degree in communications, English, journalism, or related field
  2. Minimum of 3 years experience in editorial/production field, medical or scientific publications preferred
  3. Proficiency with AMA Manual of Style preferred
  4. Experience with associations highly desired
  5. Experience with Web-based tracking systems, database management, PowerPoint, Excel and Word

SIR offers a competitive salary and an excellent benefits package. To be considered for this position, email your resume and cover letter (including salary requirements) to: Please be sure to put “Assistant Managing Editor” in the subject line. No telephone calls please. EOE.

Happy hunting and have a relaxing weekend! Be careful at those holiday parties!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Holiday networking and a grab bag of other items Why D.C. is a relatively good market for job hunters

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