How to keep your job search going through finals and the holidays

If you are a law student, you are about to go into reading period and finals. Then it’s off to winter break. Should you just give up on your job search and get back to it when the spring semester starts? Definitely not.

You may not have as much time to look for a job over the next month, there are ways to keep the search going, even during finals.

  1. Keep sending resumes out, even during the holidays. Many would tell you that hiring stops during the holiday season. I’m here to tell you that while it definitely slows down, there are still jobs posted — even the week between Christmas and New Year’s. If your school break extends into the first weeks of January, that is a prime time to look for a job, as many firms and corporations start their first quarter. Typically, January is a big month for hiring. And even late December has some hiring going on, so keep the search going over the holidays. There may be less competition as fewer applicants are submitting resumes for the available positions.
  2. Just do what you have time for. If you have no time to look for a job during exams, that’s totally fine. School should be your primary focus. But if you do have a little bit of free time during study breaks, you can do a more passive job search during the end of the semester. It’s preferable to doing nothing at all. If you can subscribe to job postings from the legal websites that you have been looking at, you can easily apply to listings without too much effort. If you do get a job interview, schedule it for after finals. Since not as many people will be checking job listings at this time, it could increase your chances — and most employers will understand scheduling an interview for when your exams are over.
  3. It’s easy to network during the holiday season. While hiring may slow down during the holidays, networking picks up. It’s easy to attend parties and chat with people at this time of year. You can mention that you are looking for an internship, part-time position or summer job, and ask for advice. If the conversation goes well, you can get their contact information and set up a time to talk more after the party. There is no pressure to give your entire networking “spiel” or go into a long explanation at the actual party. You can just talk to people casually and then follow up later if the person seems willing to talk with you about your job search. Even though you might be recovering from finals, I would encourage you to go to whatever parties you have an opportunity to attend.

Happy Holidays!

Hillary Mantis works with pre-law students, law students and lawyers. She is the author of Alternative Careers for Lawyers, and director of the Pre-Law Program at Fordham University. You can reach Hillary at altcareer@aol.com.

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