The 12 days of Christmas job search (part one)

If you’re between jobs, you may find that you have to spend some time looking for work over the Christmas period. But don’t panic, because by taking the right steps at the right time, you’ll move closer to securing a role without missing out on all the festive fun.


  1. On the first day of Christmas (a partridge in a pear tree). Draw a picture of a tree. It could be a Christmas tree, a pear tree or whatever else floats your boat! At the top, write your dream job. Then populate your tree with roles that match your skills and experience in descending order of desirability. Don’t forget to add a partridge!
  2. On the second day of Christmas (two turtle doves). Pick two jobs from your tree and start researching them. What would you need to do to get this kind of role? Are there any current vacancies? What is the salary like? What relevant experience do you have? The turtle dove’s song is a gentle purring sound, so take inspiration from that and pop on some appropriate music to aid concentration.
  3. On the third day of Christmas (three French hens). Perhaps you need to speak French or another language in your desired role. If so, start learning! Or it could just be that you need to brush up on some skills or attend a short course. Work out where your knowledge and skills gaps are and take the first step toward eliminating them. Allez!
  4. On the fourth day of Christmas (four calling birds). This seems to be an appropriate day for making important calls. If you haven’t seen any jobs you’re really attracted to, why not ring the HR departments of organisations you can see yourself working for. They may not have published vacancies online, or perhaps they didn’t realise they needed someone new until you called! If you sent off a CV a while ago but haven’t heard anything back, today’s the day to pick up the phone and find out if you made the shortlist. If not, consider asking why.
  5. On the fifth day of Christmas (five gold rings). You may instantly think about money when gold rings are mentioned, and it’s not a bad idea to think about your potential salary (although this shouldn’t be your only concern). Can you afford to take a pay cut to get a job you really want? Or do you need to earn more in your next role to cover any shortfall that may have built up since you were last in work? Gold rings could also represent what you decide to wear for interviews. Remember to dress smart and keep jewellery to a minimum!
  6. On the sixth day of Christmas (six geese-a-laying). We don’t recommend laying any eggs over the festive period, but think of this as an incubation period. Take time to network and build your social media platforms. Put good processes in place now that will come to fruition in the new year. Work out what resources you have at your disposal (money, contacts, time and so on) that will help to birth something new in your job search. Spend time getting your CV up to date, laying the groundwork for applications as and when they become available.


Part two of your ‘12 days of Christmas job search’ is coming soon, so keep your eyes (and your Brussels sprouts) peeled for more tips and guidance!


If you’re looking for a new role, check out our latest job vacancies here 


Click here for more careers tips and advice


Joy Tibbs is a freelance writer and editor who regularly contributes to Premier. Find out more at and find her on Twitter @joyous25

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