Job-Search Lessons Learned From Santa Claus

On the surface it would appear that there is not much that could be learned from an old, overweight guy who wears a red jumpsuit and makes a living delivering gifts to the world’s children but, in fact, he offers a wealth of ideas that can directly impact your search. Consider the following:

He uses the latest technology. Don’t believe me? Check out a summary of the book The Truth About Santa: Wormholes, Robots and What Really Happens on Christmas Eve. If jolly old Saint Nick can utilize the technologies that are available today (and tomorrow) so can you.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other online sites contain a wealth of information that are essential for networking, interview research, and in making a wise career decision. They are there, they are free, they are worthwhile. USE THEM!

If you have any doubts about how much they are used, take a look at our previous posts Where Job-Seekers and Recruiters Go To Network With Each Other and Searching Out Gold.

He allows others to help him be succesful. In order to get all of his gifts ready and under countless trees Santa has to let others (i.e. elves and reindeer) help him.

Job-search is no different. At the end of the day your search for a new job is a you project but if you don’t involve others (i.e. networking) you will have a very difficult go at it.

He doesn’t take holidays off. Imagine what would happen if he did – absolute chaos and a lot of tear filled eyes and broken hearts.

One of the biggest mistakes job-seekers make is taking time around major holiday’s off. Now, I’m not saying to work on those days (July 4, Christmas Day, etc) but the time immediately before and after is prime networking time because everyone else is lying low and a lot of times gate keepers will be taking time off.

He follows his passion. I don’t know Santa personally but I would have to imagine that he has a strong passion for making children happy since he has been doing it so long.

To be most succesful in your search find what you are passionate about and follow that. If that means you have to take a survival job until the job you are passionate about opens up it might be worth looking at and considering.

He makes a list and checks it twice. There is no need for an explanation here (hopefully).

If you do not have an ongoing list of companies you would love to work for, companies that would be crazy not to hire you, and where you have applied (click here for more details) you are missing out.

He has a strong network. What would Santa be without his ‘helpers’ that work in malls around the world that find out what children are really wanting? I would have to assume pretty lost.

In order to be succesful in today’s market you have to build and manage a strong network. Consider the following:

  • Many companies are not posting jobs anymore because of the sheer number of applicants
  • If they do post them they have so many résumés to look at that there is a good chance yours will never be seen
  • Some companies have policies that if you apply for more than ‘x’ number of jobs in a certain time frame you get black-listed
  • Hiring managers would much rather have ‘known’ person than a person ‘off of the street’

How can you avoid falling prey to all of the above? KNOW SOMEONE INSIDE THE COMPANY.

How do you do that? NETWORK!

Why don’t you do it then? I WILL NEVER FIGURE THAT OUT.

He has a strong brand. It would be hard for me to believe that there is someone who reads this post that is not intimately familiar with Santa and his work.

What do people know about your work? What do people think about your work? What do people think about you? It is your job to help mold and shape that and if you wait until you are out of work it is too late. Start building your brand NOW!

If you have any ideas on the lessons that can be learned from Santa please let me know! This is just a short list (I know there are more) – help me fill it out.

Until next time, good hunting and good luck!



11 responses to “Job-Search Lessons Learned From Santa Claus

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Job-Search Lessons Learned From Santa Claus « A Recruiters Guide to the Universe --

  2. Matt,

    Great article! I especially enjoyed Santa’s use of technology.

    Your readers might also enjoy “A Job Seeker’s Letter To Santa”, recently published at

    “Dear Santa,

    I’ve been a good candidate this year…but you would already know that, wouldn’t you? I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but I got kind of short changed last Christmas, with a variety of bad sweaters, regifts, and Aunt Martha’s ten ton fruitcake.

    Here’s what I’d like this year:

    1. A killer “fishing resume”, complete with…”


  3. I have never been able to network and all the networking events near me are for people at a much senior leve. I keep in touch with a few people I used to work with but not as often as I would like to. There is also the expense of some of the networking suggestions such joining a chapter of an organization and being active in within that organization.

    I listened to a brief interview with the author of the book you mentioned on NPR and found it highly entertaining.

  4. OOPs typo’s. I just woke up from a nap and am not quite awake. (I have a job that requires me to be on call every other weekend, and I’ve been on it since Friday morning, not much sleep and the sleep I’ve been getting has me sleeping with one ear open)

  5. Pingback: uberVU - social comments

  6. Great – basing your job hunting strategy upon a fictional character. Everything works so well in fiction, but too bad not in real life. You make it sound like networking and finding out intimate details about companies and hiring managers is so easy! I go to lots of networking meetings and used Linked In, etc. and only find people like me – out of a job and no connections. I’m tired of silly articles like this one – Bah Humbug!!

    • You can go to networking events all you want but until you do ONE ON ONE networking where you sit down with people and really pick their brain you will be spinning your wheels.

  7. Regarding “He doesn’t take holidays off” …I’ve read this particular generality multiple times over the last month. Does anyone have a concrete example of some sort of successful holiday season networking? I mean, are we talking Dustin Hoffman in “Kramer vs. Kramer” here?

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