Contrary to popular belief, recruiters do search for potential hires during the holidays. In fact, some recommend it as there’s often less competition.

So if a new job is at the top of your holiday wish list, here are seven things to keep in mind when job hunting during the holidays.

More responsive recruiters
“The holiday [season] is actually one of the best times for job seekers to hunt for jobs. Departments have new budgets in the new year, and they are looking to maximize the time that they can have someone on their team,” says Sam Erickson, the managing director at HCS Maritime & Offshore. “December is usually a time where HR and hiring managers are more responsive, and even if you can’t schedule anything before the new year, there is a push to get the start of the year planned out and interviews set.”

Less competition
“While others are enjoying the long days of shopping and sipping peppermint mochas, job seekers can enjoy less competition in the marketplace,” according to Adriana Llames, CEO at XecuCoach. “Many job seekers take a break during the holidays to spend time with family and miss out on great opportunities.”

Personal outreach opportunities 
“Make some phone calls to hiring teams. Be measured and targeted toward companies that interest you. Reach out and have conversations,” advises John Light from EvolvingTalentGroup. “The more contacts you have, the better you will feel and the more interview-related skills you will develop. Plus, warmer connections will keep you top of mind for opportunities in the coming year.”

Hiring is happening
“Have you ever heard the phrase use it or lose it? Some employers are looking to spend the rest of their 2018 budgets before year’s end or to hire their final headcount so they don’t lose out on either of them. Make sure you’re searching during the holiday season so you can snag that job before the budget and headcount reset in the new year,” says Llames.

Think creatively
It’s important to think creatively about your approach since employers might not be hiring immediately. Try volunteering at the company or attending networking events related to the field you’re interested in. “While volunteering may not immediately translate into a job offer, it is a helpful way to keep up with your networking efforts. You never know who you will meet volunteering at corporate events as many bosses participate in the giving season,” says Matt Dodgson, director at Market Recruitment.

Networking made easy
“November and December are two of the best and easiest months to network. It’s filled with invitations to holiday parties, events, and get-togethers. If you’re in the market, say yes to as many [events] as possible and go with a smile on your face,” says Llames. “You never know who might be looking for a new employee or who might know someone who is.”

Reflect on your journey, then act
“When people have time off, they reflect [on] the past year and if work has not been fulfilling, they realize it’s time to look for something new,” says Liz Dooley, CEO at Liz Dooley Recruiting. “Update your resume, gather your reference list, update your LinkedIn profile, search the job boards for open positions that interest you, and then go back to your network and see if you have contacts at those companies and ask for referrals [and] informational interviews.”

Preparing for a big job interview? Check out eight things HR recruiters say you should never do in a job interview.

xx, The FabFitFun Team