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4 Things You Should Do To Be Job-Ready Before The Holidays End

Workin' Girl

Your LinkedIn profile is on fleek, and so is your resume and cover letter.


However, you still cannot seem to find a job.

The unemployment rate is steadily decreasing, and supposedly the amount of jobs in America is increasing.

So where are the jobs?!

As an anxious job seeker, I'm sure it is very annoying to fill out application after application and not hear anything back, especially when you know you are damn well qualified.

Unfortunately, while you may be the perfect candidate, there are several reasons why you may not be getting called back:

  1. The position may be put on hold because of internal, business complications (i.e. the hiring manager may have new priorities that are more important)
  2. They are using a staffing agency to help fill candidates and the agency may not be moving as quickly as you may like
  3. The role that you applied for is a role that they are always hiring for (i.e. at my old job, we were always hiring student employees due to a high turnover, so we kept that job posted even when we weren't hiring)

Despite all of this, one of the most important reasons is that the company may not be in their hiring season. One thing that most people do not know is that December is one of the best times of the year to job search. Many companies begin their yearly, new hire training during this time, and also some companies realize that they have more money in their budget to create new positions or hire more employees. Naturally, because of those factors and more, more positions tend to get posted in December and more people are being hired.

Now before you lazily stop your job search efforts and wait for mid-December to roll around, please realize that the next few weeks are the most important if you are a job seeker.

Here are four major things that you need to take care of before the holidays end so that you are ready for your next big opportunity:

Research holiday networking events in your field.

With Christmas just around the corner, there will be many holiday parties and volunteer opportunities that you can attend. Do your research now and see what is going on in your community, and with your desired, future employers. Start RSVPing now to those events and get ready to network and meet new people.

Connect with old contacts to touch base, show gratitude, and even ask to use them as a reference.

I truly believe in the value of maintaining relationships with everyone. You never know what someone can do for you, or when you will need someone that you least expect. Touch base with your old contacts by sending them a holiday card or e-card. Even better, take time out to call them. I know this may seem really cheesy, but I actually schedule days to call and check on certain people. I don't have a fancy scheduling system, I just use my iPhone calendar and randomly schedule reminders to "call ____" or to "email ____".

Also during this time, it is important to reconnect with old employers and peers so that you can update your reference list. If you are in need of references, kindly tell them what your job goals are and ask them if they can be a reference. If you were a good employee or coworker, they will not have a problem with it.

[Related: Do These 4 Things On LinkedIn & You Will Have Recruiters Sliding In Your DMs]

Take advantage of family and friends visiting for the holidays by brushing up on interview skills.

Before any interview, it is always good to practice your elevator pitch and go over basic interview questions. It is better to practice interviewing skills with another person because you can get feedback. While your family and friends are in town for the holidays, slip them away for a little interview roleplay. Give them a list of questions, and ask them to interview you and give you constructive feedback at the end. Most of the time, the most honest people are our family members, and these are the type of people that you need advice from.

Do more research on what kind of career you want and the companies that you want to work for.

Since you are on the job hunt, it is obvious that you are anxiously seeking a new position. However, do not be too anxious and apply for literally any and everything that is posted. Doing so is not only a waste of time, but a waste of energy. Think about what you truly value, what your skills are, and what you are passionate about. Really think about what kind of career you want, what kind of company that you want to work for, and what exact position you are seeking. It is important that you do your fair share of research before joining a company so that you can personally benefit and grow.

Before you spend your holidays deal shopping and eating one and two plates of yummy holiday food, make sure you are also using your time wisely. By doing the aforementioned things this holiday season, you may find yourself coming into the new year with a new job!

What are some other things that you can do this holiday season that will benefit your job hunt? Let us know by commenting below.

Featured image by Shutterstock

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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