Snowflakes, holiday décor, scented pine boughs, and other holiday treats are what most people dream of this time of year. Could there be something else that adds to the “magic” of the season? You guessed it—the holidays are perfect for job hunting.

What makes this a great time of year to be in the job market? A number of factors can bring glad tidings to those pursuing a holiday-season job search:

  • Much, much less competition. Want to face some stiff numbers not in your favor? Be sure to job search only when the masses do, from January to mid-May.
  • Increased access to decision-makers. Hiring managers often do not have the luxury of waiting out the holiday season to find that perfect candidate. In addition, some professionals quit their jobs right before the holidays, planning to spend the rest of the year with family—and leaving a prime spot for you.
  • Plenty of socializing. Face it—the option of attending more social events this time of year leaves very little excuse for avoiding networking. Your next job lead could come from the literally dozens of people you can meet—some of them with access to key decision-makers—at holiday events.
  • Company budgets working in your favor.Many corporations operate on a budget that must be spent before the end of the year. Guess what can happen when you apply to jobs during December with equal fervor to that of other months?

The lesson? Strong companies are always on the lookout for the perfect candidate to fill key jobs. Continually marketing your qualifications and networking with hiring managers–without regard to the time of year–could leave you with the best holiday gift of all.