Don’t let your employment situation get you down this season. Use these tips to thrive over the holidays. [TWEET]

While it’s never easy to be without a job, it can be particularly challenging during the holidays. Don’t let this time of year or your current employment situation get you down! Here are some tips for surviving the holiday season and gearing your job search up for success.

1.  Revamp your resume.

There’s no time like the present to give your resume a thorough overhaul. Even if you are employed, it’s a great idea to update your resume annually and since the holiday season is usually slow, it’s the perfect time for resume housekeeping. Make sure your resume is formatted in a contemporary fashion and contains your latest employment accomplishments. If you’ve been sending your resume out for some time with no response, it probably needs a tune-up. There are great resources online to give you an idea of how your resume should look, and if writing one is not your strong suit, consider investing in a professional writer.

2. Revamp your cover letter.

Take advantage of the holidays to customize a cover letter specific to the season. Most job seekers do not include a cover letter at all, and many of the ones who do send a clearly generic one that sometimes isn’t relevant to the position for which they are applying. You will stand out from the competition by including a clearly tailored letter. “Happy holidays!” or “Happy New Year!” are relatively safe and politically correct greetings. If you include relevant references to the company or position, even better.

3. Slow time means interview time!

The good thing about an end of year slowdown is that hiring managers are available to talk to you. Find out who they are and ask for an appointment. This can be accomplished by leveraging your network or contacting the company directly. Even if the employer is not hiring until after the new year, he or she is more likely to remember you.

4. Tis the season to network.

December is the prime season for parties, so take advantage of the opportunity to get out there and talk to people. Whether it’s a networking event or your spouse’s holiday party, you can use this chance to get dressed up and show off your elevator pitch. Meeting new people, finding out what they do, and asking for introductions is never wasted time. Remember the cardinal rule of any professional gathering, though, and do not overindulge on the eggnog!

5. Get into gratitude.

Think about starting a gratitude list of all the things for which you are thankful. It’s okay if you include not having to deal with THAT person at your former job, or a particularly nasty commute.

Lastly, avoid at all costs the temptation to sink into despair. Yes, this might be a lean year in terms of gift giving, but try to use this opportunity to encourage everyone to get creative and avoid commercialism and overspending. You might just find out you have the best holiday ever.

Looking for a new job? Add these gifts to your holiday wish list.

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