How to Get Your Applications Ready for the 2020 Hiring Season

December 6, 2019
Career Development

And just like that, it's December. We can hardly believe there are just a few weeks left in the decade!

Most employers use this time to estimate their budgets for the upcoming year. This is what makes the first and second quarters an important time for hiring. That means December is an important time for you. January, February, March, and April see a hiring surge. This also means there will be tough competition. So why not get a running start?


Hiring typically slows in December. It's not impossible to land a job during this month, but it's also difficult for teams to establish a timeline for recruiting new staff members. Instead, use this downtime to focus on your resumé, CV, and portfolio.

You should tailor your application materials to the specific position and listing that you are applying for. However, without a listing, you can still edit the language and structure of your experience bullet points, profile summary (if you have one), and skills.

• Start each bullet with the impact you had ("Secured a 7% increase in customer retention") followed by how you did it ("by creating and managing an online community with content based on user purchase and link click data").

• Work on a side project and feature it prominently in your portfolio or website. The more recent the better as you'll help employers see that you're knowledgeable of contemporary design or copywriting trends.

Learn new skills and add them to your résumé! Teaching yourself a new skill shows employers that you can adapt to innovation. If you can do it with little expense, all the better for your profile. Give it a go.


Something we've always found interesting about the holiday season is how fast work moves, but often how little it changes, too. Due to the pace of having projects completed and launched, firms have less time to introduce new technologies or processes into work.

Seizing this time to educate yourself on the state of the marketing and advertising industries should be a no-brainer. In addition to our go-to newsletters and writers and thinkers covering the industries, check out The Drum, Lecture In Progress, and Muse by Clio - all accessible without a membership. Not only will reading about the industry give you a leg up on the competition, but it can also be a great source of support when it comes to writing cover letters. If you can demonstrate that you understand the marketing and ad ecosystems and how a role or company fits in either, you'll show potential employers that you get their business and the problems they face (rather than telling them).


There's plenty of magic this time of year that your work should not spoil. Slow down and allow yourself to feel it. Get cozy on a snowy night while watching Love Actually, drink hot chocolate and stroll through a holiday market, take a second inhale of those Christmas trees. Peeling yourself away from your desk to experience this time of year will serve you well in 2020.

Wishing you a warm, joyful, and happy holiday