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3 Things You Need To Know About A February Job Search

There’s no bad time to look for a job, but there are seasonal trends that can work in your favor or slow your progress. If you’re planning to launch or continue a job search in February, here’s what you need to know to maximize your efforts.

1. It’s a lot like January, but better

January is the most popular month to begin a job search. Many people had downtime during the holiday season to reflect on their career goals, and the new year further motivated them to get started.

Though employers open many new jobs in January, the supply of candidates often outpaces the demand. A horde of job seekers start January with optimism, but it can be a rather frustrating month if you are constantly failing to break out from the pack.

This dynamic will begin weeding out your competition as early as February, when job seekers who weren’t truly committed to their search get tired of the endless networking or get distracted by the increasing demands of their current job.

Meanwhile, most of the jobs that opened in January are still seeking candidates, and companies continue to create new positions at a higher than average pace throughout February.

2. Now’s the time to target your dream companies

There are a lot of reasons that companies need to hire at this time of year. The first motivation is that many leaders start working on a new set of goals that create brand-new positions. This happens all while some of their best and most essential talent are out finding new jobs themselves, quickly creating an additional need to rehire for their positions.

February is when you will start seeing the first wave of previous year backfill opportunities hit the market. This means that if you have a specific list of companies you’d like to work for, now is a good time to target them.

Use your networking sessions this month to inquire about two to three of your most desired companies. There’s a good chance they’ll need someone like you soon, even if they don’t know it yet.

3. You absolutely need a follow-up schedule

Without a system to track your follow-ups, you run the risk of letting some leads fall through the cracks while you follow up too frequently with others.

Unfortunately, few things are harder to navigate during a job search than knowing when to send follow-up emails.

Timing depends on your previous relationship with the contacts, their temperament and the level of engagement they’ve already shown. While there are no hard and fast rules, here are some guidelines to help you plan and automate your follow-up schedule.

Close contacts should be followed up with once a month with a quick update on your job search. This is especially true when things are going well and when you finally land that new job. Don’t wait to reach out only when you need something; make sure you continue to nurture your relationships throughout the search.

Loose connections, new introductions and recruiters you don’t have any open interviews with should be pinged twice, spaced about four to six weeks apart, with a short “thanks for keeping me on the radar” email and a hope that you connect again soon.

If you’ve had phone or in-person interviews but the recruiting team gave you no idea as to when to expect a hiring decision, you should inquire on the status of your candidacy approximately seven to ten days after your interviews.

In general, you shouldn’t have to follow up more than twice to get a job lead moving to the next step. If you feel the need to ping someone more than that, this particular job lead is probably a dead end. By letting it go and not becoming an annoyance, you are more likely to leave the door open for the person to contact you later when they get serious about hiring.

All in all, February is a great month to gain traction in your job search if you stay focused. Take advantage while you can.

Information on our job search programs at the YWCA Employment and Learning Centre can be found at: Employment & Learning

This article was adapted by Shaylyn White. You can view the full original article by Journey Whitehead of Forbes at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kourtneywhitehead/2020/02/02/3-things-you-need-to-know-about-a-february-job-search/?sh=6dde491e43f0