Many people decide to put a pause on their job search over the summer mistakenly thinking it’s not the right time to look for a job. But, most times those that get hired in the fall months are the ones who’ve been busy over the summer. So if you’re tempted to spend the summers just stretched out on a beach towel and not continuing your job search, you might want to think twice.
Here’s why we recommend summer as a great time for job hunting, and how you can be the most productive:
- Seasonal events make summer an excellent time to network! Festivals, barbecues, and pool parties are perfect opportunities to connect because people are relaxed, receptive, and don’t have their eye on their next meeting. If formal networking events are intimidating for you, social gatherings are great for practicing your networking skills.
- Competition for jobs is often less intense during the summer, but openings must still be filled when they occur. That means you have an even better chance of zeroing in on a new job while other job seekers are slacking off. Many companies that ramp up in the fall — for example, those in education, retail, or hospitality — are looking to hit the ground running with newly hired employees come September or October.
- Not everyone in the business world takes long vacations anymore; it’s business as usual in the corporate world over the summer. You might even reach executives more easily while the “gatekeepers” (secretaries and receptionists) are away, and your resume and application may get more attentive and undistracted consideration.
- Take a class or two in something that will make you more marketable. You’ll not only be expanding your skills, but you’ll have the chance to network with your classmates.
- Take advantage of other unlikely networking opportunities. Do some volunteer work, or help a neighbor with a project. Offer to walk a friend’s dog; you’ll be surprised at the conversations you can start!
- Review your resume and LinkedIn profile, and make sure any new accomplishments and skills are reflected. Work on that website or portfolio that you’ve been meaning to put together.
- Don’t get discouraged. Departments often stagger their vacations and it might take some time for people to get back to you. Leave polite messages and make it known that you’re reachable.
Remember to keep all the job-search techniques in play that you use throughout the year over the summer. Assess where you are in your search, and stick with your goals for the number of people you will meet each week. You might not have found the perfect swimsuit this summer — but you’re well on your way to an ideal career fit!