Job Search During the Holidays

It can seem futile to try to find a university job during the last six weeks of the year. The fall semester is ending, and faculty and administration are busy with finals, grades, winter graduation, holiday parties and bowl games. It can be difficult to find anybody on campus during December; especially as many institutions close most of their administrative offices for 1 or 2 weeks during the holidays.

However, November and December can be great months to focus on your academic job search. There isn't as much competition because other job seekers get caught up in the holiday hustle. While the campus may be quieter than during other parts of the year, that also means that there are fewer meetings, fewer activities, and the staff that stay on campus are in their offices working.

Department chairs are hiring the adjuncts for the spring semester. Deans are hiring faculty for the next academic year. Staff are filling the vacant positions they haven't had time to post until now.

So make the most of the holidays by doing the following:

  1. Monitor the job postings so you can respond promptly.
  2. Send Christmas cards, electronic or paper, to any contacts you have in the higher education community. This keeps your name in front of the hiring managers.
  3. Admissions offices often hire temporary help during the holidays to handle the influx of student applications for the next academic year. This is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door.
  4. Attend as many open holiday events, concerts, receptions and parties on campus as you can. This is a great opportunity for you to meet people.

Whatever you do, don't stop your job search during the holidays. If you do, you might miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime!


Dindy Robinson has many years of human resources experience in higher education institutions.


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