If you’re in a job search slump this month, you might think that a Q4 job search would be a wash. In fact, the opposite is true. Holidays and job searching go together, hand in glove. Fewer people are applying during the holidays, giving hiring managers fewer resumes to sort. Additionally, all that holiday cheer – and holiday parties – gives hiring managers more open states of mind and gives you more networking opportunities.

Still, it’s not always easy to stay motivated in your job search over the November holiday. Here are four tips to give you renewed confidence in your job search throughout this holiday month.

Research the companies hiring this month

Even if hiring isn’t strong across many industries, your dream company might be hiring this month anyway. Some companies and industries hire in months in which others aren’t. Read up on seasonality in hiring. If you do your research, you might find that your ideal company is hiring – and that you might seem particularly motivated by beating the post-holiday applicants.

Ask questions and network

Even if you’re in a job search slump because you’ve been doing the same thing repeatedly, networking opportunities are plentiful in November. Friends’ and families’ holiday parties might be the ideal settings to meet new people. If someone there is in your field – or in a field that interests you – ask questions. This kind of informal networking could later come in handy – especially if your new friend knows of little-advertised jobs for which you might be a good fit. When it comes time for asking for referrals, your new contacts are likely to remember you fondly if you met at a cheery holiday gathering, too.

Make the most of networking to help pull yourself out of the job search slump.

Retool your application materials

Some HR departments do put aside their hiring goals for the beginning of the first quarter in January. Just because you’re not actively applying doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be considering your job application materials. Check to see if your accomplishments could be better stated by considering different resume formats. Ensure you’re using the right resume keywords by scanning your resume and your dream job’s application into Jobscan. Once hiring begins in full force again in January, you’ll be happy you spent that time preparing for your job search. Without so much on your plate when many new jobs are being posted, you’ll have renewed optimism in your job search, too.

Set application goals

Be realistic about your application goals. The winter can and does slow you down, so you might not be able to send out as many applications as you could in the spring. That’s okay. Perhaps you want to set a goal of sending out one personalized and tailored application package every week. Or you want to browse the best job boards for one hour every day. No matter what your goal, continue to search through the busy season.

The best way to make it through the job search slump? Give yourself a break. The holidays are the perfect time to unwind and reconnect, and this refreshment ultimately gives you more energy for your job search in the long run.

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James Hu

James Hu is the founder and CEO of Jobscan, a web tool that helps job seekers land interviews by optimizing resume keywords.

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