3. Things are slower at the company where you're applying, too
When the gatekeepers are away, its an excellent time to get through to hiring managers and do some research on the company you're interested in, says Mark Anthony Dyson, founder of the Competitive Resumes consultancy and The Voice of Jobseekers.
This is a good time to find out information about the company. Call the 1-800 customer service number and build a rapport with the representative that answers the phone, Dyson suggests. Many times they can be helpful with finding out information you normally can't get during peak season, such as hiring manager names, departments of interest, basic research of the company, and more.
If you've already submitted an application to a company, Gimbel says this season is the perfect time for follow-up with people who have the final say on hiring decisions.
Typically its hard to reach these decision-makers, but during the holidays, many administrative staff members request time away from the office. This is the time to take advantage; call the company and ask for the hiring manager directly, he suggests.
4. Holiday cards and emails
Reaching out to wish someone a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas or Happy New Year is a great way to re-establish connections and make a friendly inquiry about available jobs and opportunities, Palfy says.
Reconnect with past professional contacts with a holiday card or email, ask them to get coffee, Palazzolo says. The holiday is the perfect time to touch base and catch up with your network.
It really comes down to letting your contacts know you're out there, Palfy explains. Even if you're just connecting on social media, you're still making that effort to be more visible. This is especially important if you're following up from a holiday party meeting.
Go on LinkedIn (LNKD) and reinforce that connection you made with someone at the holiday party or networking event, she says. Just something simple will work: Hey it was great talking to you, I hope to stay in touch and I've added you to my network.
5. Part-time needs
If you are unemployed and looking for work, don't shy away from a temporary or project work thats available during the final weeks of the year, McDonald says. Even if you have your heart set on a full-time position, remember that temporary roles lead frequently to full-time job offers.
Lots of attention is given to jobs in the retail sector for the holiday season, but offices have plenty of needs as well, particularly in the accounting and administrative support areas, he explains. Demand is strong for several reasons -- companies need to close the books, clear backlogs, get ready for 2014 projects, address spikes in business and cover for vacationing or sick employees.
The holidays may also present the perfect opportunity for taking informational interviews, Gimbel says, and these meetings can make a candidate stand out as someone who is hungry for knowledge and has a strong work ethic.
Even though these meetings may not result in a job offer during the holiday season, a job-seeker will be farther ahead than most come Jan. 1.