Here’s how to get out ahead of the job-hunting competition this January

By Dara Flynn

Let’s face it: there’s not much to love about January. It’s the peak of the bleak midwinter and Christmas comedown-central. Unless, that is, you’re considering looking for a new job.


According to jobsite Indeed, January is one of two hotspots in the recruitment calendar year (the other being September) when HR budgets are refreshed and there’s a visible uptick in vacancies as bonus season ends and more people seek to move on. It’s go-time.

The only thing about a hiring hotspot, however, is that you’ll face more competition from fellow applicants than at any other time of year. 

This means you’ll have to work a little harder and be a bit cleverer to stand out from your peers on the call sheet. Here’s how.

Be the early bird

Sure, we refer to January as peak hiring season, but on the ground it takes a couple of weeks for things to get going.

Once people have returned from festive annual leave and recommence their recruitment drive, it’s often already mid-month. You’ll have hit the ground running, though, and will be ready to pounce with your application as soon as your ideal position pops up.


Get that outdated CV off the cloud and update it but – word to the wise – don’t use AI to generate any of its content (recruiters can sniff this out and they hate that).

Refresh your references list too––it’s no harm to prime your trusted referees that they may be contacted by a prospective employer soon. Being able to move fast means you can steal a march on the competition.

Pimp your personal brand

A social media check is no longer considered sneaky bonus research for recruitment managers; this is increasingly a key strategy in candidate research that can protect a company from hiring someone with brand-damaging red flags such as racism, bullying, or overtly politicised posts.

While you may consider your social media to be squeaky clean, do a sanity check for anything that could be misconstrued. If you’ve been inactive (or worse, inane) on social media, consider deletion, curation, and enrichment of your feed or profile.

Ensure your professional profile is up to date on any website where you appear. And add a little vanity engagement as a bonus: interact with organisations, associations and hot topics pertinent to your dream role or preferred company.

Set yourself apart

Seasoned interviewers know what questions trip candidates up. 

These tend not to be skills-based, but broad and include ‘Why do you want to work here?’ – a common question designed to weed out the tyre-kickers and identify who is in it for the long haul.

Post-interview, you could also consider doing something that hardly anyone ever does: send a follow-up email and a physical thank-you note in a world where everyone else is just emailing.

Job hunting isn’t dating, so don’t be afraid to appear overly eager. If you were a HR, wouldn’t you opt for the keenest competent candidate over the one with stellar skills but an unpleasantly hard-to-get attitude?

That said, don’t pester. In January, hiring heats up and people are at their busiest, so expect a slower response than usual.


Rolling up your sleeves for a job hunt in January? Get a headstart now at the Euronews Jobs Board.

Compliance, FICC Compliance, Vice President, Goldman Sachs

The France team at Goldman Sachs is hiring a Compliance Officer based in Paris. This position aims to correctly interpret regulations in the EU and US, guide FICC business, and ensure that compliance frameworks are adhered to. 

The main tasks include risk assessment, advising teams on regulatory requirements, collaborating with other departments and controlling the implementation of compliance throughout the organisation. 

Ideally, you’d have at least five years of experience in a complex financial environment such as this, and be fluent in French and English. A detail-oriented person with superb communication skills and a great working knowledge of regulations (and FICC asset classes/certifications such as CISI, CFA, or AMF) would thrive in this role. 

Find out more and apply directly via the Euronews Jobs Board.

Senior Software Engineer (UI), Aer Lingus Group plc

Aer Lingus, Ireland’s only four-star airline, is seeking a Senior Software Engineer (UI) to play a key role in Dublin in creating top-tier front-end solutions for the airline’s website. 

As a senior on the tech team, you’ll lead UI development and guide the crafting of interfaces that ensure a great user experience on both mobile and desktop. You’ll ideally be an expert in JavaScript, NodeJS, Angular, and front-end frameworks, plus you should have the communications skills to mentor and guide agile product teams. 

This role is 80 percent remote, with 20 percent in structured office settings, and of course, it comes with great global travel perks. See if you might be a good fit here.

Head of Sales Enablement EU, SumUp

SumUp, the payment solutions firm, empowers small businesses worldwide and is on the hunt for a Head of Sales Enablement in London who will shape training and coaching for its European SME teams. 

You’ll be tasked with crafting training modules, overseeing ongoing coaching, ensuring processes are aligned across regions, and leveraging the latest market intelligence. At least five years in sales, and two in sales enablement, are preferred, plus expertise in data analytics and sales tools. 

SumUp has a global tech team in 22 offices worldwide and prides itself on an inclusive culture. Find out more, and apply directly now.

Whatever your industry, the January hiring blitz is around the corner. Find out who’s hiring in your field at Euronews Jobs

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