NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Even though this time of year may inspire more interest in holiday shopping and decorating than job hunting, experts say the holiday season is an excellent time to get hired or at least get on the right company's nice list. Take a look at the top five reasons the holidays can be particularly lucrative time for job-seekers and the best ways to get your application in before New Years Eve.
1. Holiday parties
The holiday season offers plenty of opportunities to connect with people in person -- holiday parties, volunteer programs, recognition events and more, says Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. Take advantage of these opportunities to step away from your computer and connect with people face to face.
No matter the role you're seeking, Christy Palfy, a recruiting manager at Progressive Insurance, says to let people know you're looking -- even friends and family.
There will be plenty of get-togethers that offer a great opportunity to introduce yourself and make it known you're looking, Palfy says.
Even if you're partying with people in differing industries, don't be afraid to make your desires known.
You should still mention it, Palfy says. You never know who people may know, and you may find out there are roles open you never even knew existed.
Also, don't restrict your networking to professional or industry events, McDonald says. Your best leads may come from non-work gatherings such as your children's school event or your neighbor's holiday party.
Remember that people tend to be more willing to help those they've met in person, so make the effort to connect live, he says.
2. Less competition
During the Holidays, many job-seekers may be less engaged at work and more focused on their family and friends -- and that means you may end up in a pool of fewer applicants and therefore up against less competition than other times of year, says Piera Palazzolo, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Dale Carnegie Training.
Its absolutely a time for you to take advantage of the fact that there are less people applying in general, Palfy says. "We see a slight decrease in applicants in general, and that means less competition overall."
Those who are unemployed or unhappy in their jobs often use the holiday season in the worst way possible: as an excuse to fly under the radar and hibernate. Instead, this is the time to take charge in your job search, says Tom Gimbel, president and CEO of LaSalle Network, a Chicago staffing firm.
The pool of people pursuing open positions is significantly smaller during the holiday season, and smart job-seekers should capitalize on this smaller amount of competitors, Gimbel says.