Is it worth sending resumes in late December?
December 6, 2017 6:23 PM   Subscribe

I'm starting up a job search but from prior experience on both sides of the process I'm thinking I might put things on hold from Dec 15 through January 5. I suspect a lot of people will be out and that my resume might get lost in the backlog when they return. I'm hoping someone here will have enough experience to weigh in either direction.
posted by Tell Me No Lies to Work & Money (17 answers total)
Last year on Christmas Eve, I got a phone call to interview for a job the day after Christmas. I was hired the week of New Years. This was a health information management position at a hospital. I'm sure it depends on the type of job you're applying for as to whether or not it's a good idea to wait. Honestly though, I wish I had waited. It ruined the whole holiday worrying about the job interview and then worrying about whether or not I got the job.
posted by ilovewinter at 6:48 PM on December 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have been you, but I think it stands to reason that if they are soliciting resumes in December, they're reading resumes in December. Not everyone goes on vacation at the same time.
posted by Smearcase at 6:49 PM on December 6, 2017 [12 favorites]

Look at it this way ... the people who are reading resumes and dealing with hiring around Christmas are the people who *really* need to fill that job. So you might as well be in front of their eyes.
posted by mccxxiii at 6:56 PM on December 6, 2017 [5 favorites]

I'm hiring in December and I have been hired in December. As a hiring manager there is no point at which I just delete a bunch of possibly-qualified resumes because I was on vacation. If anything, I'm probably reading resumes on vacation because if I have an open position, I'm really thinking about it a lot.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:32 PM on December 6, 2017 [5 favorites]

If they’re posting now, they want to hire ASAP. And with the block of time eaten up by the holidays, the interview process, and people needing to give notice before they can start, the earlier the better.

I’m not sure your industry but in mine we’re glad to see lots of resumes and don’t lose them in the shuffle like ever, because we really want to pick the right candidate.
posted by kapers at 8:23 PM on December 6, 2017

If the posting is open, they're still accepting resumes. I'm hiring right now and would LOVE a qualified candidate to submit a resume. Trust me, if they're looking to hire someone, they're not getting a ton of resumes right now, and yours will get noticed if it's a match!
posted by radioamy at 8:32 PM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

It really depends on the workplace. Some places basically close up shop between, like December 20 and January 5. Not all do. I will say that we just suspended a hiring process on my team and are planning to pick it back up again after the holidays, because we do basically close up between Christmas and New Years and we don't want to repost something right before we leave.

But if it's a well-run workplace with a functioning HR department, and the position is currently posted, it shouldn't actually matter if your application comes during an off-time for hiring anyway. They'll still flag your application if it's strong, and make sure the hiring manager sees it. It might just take a little longer for the process to go through.

However, maybe you're just feeling like you need to take a break, because applying for jobs is physically and emotionally exhausting. If that's the case and you can afford to take a break, I say do it. Maybe keep one eye out for your absolute dream job though.
posted by lunasol at 10:55 PM on December 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

We posted a job last week for an open position on my team. While I think we won’t move anyone to the next phase before the end of the year, I am reviewing resumes. I sort of welcome a “backlog” so I can have a few candidates we can move forward with when we’re all back after the holidays. That said, for our process and timeline, it wouldn’t matter to me whether an application came in this week, or on January 2. Hope this helps — good luck!
posted by kittydelsol at 4:08 AM on December 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

For some people, the last couple of weeks in December, when other business slows down a bit and there are fewer deadlines, might be the only time they have to think about hiring new people.
posted by grouse at 4:41 AM on December 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

Yes, just go ahead and apply. Also this gives you a built-in excuse, if you don't hear from them, to email again on Jan 3 and check in.
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:52 AM on December 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

Hiring happens over the holidays, it just takes longer. Because people are on vacation, it's harder to get everyone involved available on the same day to interview candidates or make the final hiring decision. So adjust your expectations accordingly, but there's no reason not to go for it.
posted by DrGail at 6:21 AM on December 7, 2017

I had a job where I did a skills test the week of Thanksgiving, interviewed the week after Thanksgiving, and was offered the job the second week of December, with a start date roughly a week before Christmas, although my new boss was generous enough to allow me to take leave for Christmas week and officially start on Dec. 30.

It does happen, and if you see something you like, it wouldn't hurt to apply. The hiring process seems to be slow-ish in my field, anyway, so often I see advertisements posted during the holidays to get people through the administrative bits -- applications, skills tests, pre-screening, etc. -- so interviews can be scheduled right when everyone gets back during the first week of January.
posted by PearlRose at 7:52 AM on December 7, 2017

Yeah, I’m in the process of interviewing for something now; they pulled the listing down last week and expect to make a decision soon, definitely before the end of the year. Unless it’s something where the holidays are a key business component (holiday retail maybe?), is day go ahead and keep applying.
posted by okayokayigive at 8:09 AM on December 7, 2017

From the employee side, I once interviewed for a job in mid-December and started the position in early January after a couple of rounds of back-and-forth negotiations in late December. From the hiring manager side, December is a slower period for a lot of places so your resume could actually get more immediate attention, even if some of the interview process and your start date may go slower or be deferred because of the holidays. If the place is on top of their hiring process, your resume will not get dropped on the floor just because it came in around the end of the year. Lots of people come on to the job market in the first quarter of the year so your chances of being "lost in the shuffle" might actually be a little higher then.
posted by 4rtemis at 8:24 AM on December 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

We're making two hires right now, one significant (search process started over the summer) and one more entry-level (listing opened last week), and working to fill them both by December 31. So, unless you have other reasons to want to wait until January, I'd add a vote to the go-ahead-and-apply list.
posted by picopebbles at 10:13 AM on December 7, 2017

I'm a hiring manager, and I have an open position right now. If my candidates thought like you, they'd miss out on interviews. Go ahead and apply for anything that's open, provided you're available to interview.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 11:06 AM on December 7, 2017

Response by poster: Well this was surprisingly unanimous. Thanks everyone!
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:37 PM on December 7, 2017

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