Your Summer Job Search is Futile… Or is it?
Seasoned recruiters will tell you that you have the highest chance of landing a job in January. The list of reasons is endless – business is picking back up after the typical holiday lull, greatest number of decision makers are in the office, and most importantly, most companies have fresh budget they can tap. Second only to the new year, the early fall is also an excellent time for job hunters to begin submitting resumes. Many companies want to schedule interviews and make final hiring decisions before they shut down for the holiday season. The likelihood of being hired in the spring is significantly lower than that of the new year and late fall. However, if you are able to line up your interviews in early to mid-March, the hiring process will be well underway by the time key decision makers begin leaving for summer trips.
Based on this information, launching a job search in the summer months seems like really bad idea. Or is it?
The key to summer job seeking is patience and using your time for prep. Companies don’t stop hiring in the summer but be prepared for the process to take longer. Arranging interviews around key team member vacations can be a scheduling nightmare. It’s also important to remember that your job search does not begin the day you begin submitting resumes and contacting hiring managers. Long before that happens, you have a lot of work to do.
First and foremost, you need to begin working on your resume. A good resume is more than a list of dates and duties. The strongest resumes are centered around the contributions and achievements you made during your tenure. Taking the time to clean up your resume so it is success-focused and reader-friendly, will go a long way.
Second, you cannot begin your job search without investing a significant amount of time researching the type of role and company you are looking for. It’s tempting to keep your sights broad. You’re more likely to get a job if you’re willing to take anything, right? While there may be some truth to this theory, you are also more likely to be unhappy with that job and looking for a new one within six months. Write your own ideal job description. Identify the responsibilities, company culture, and compensation you are looking for. Keep an eye out for experience or training someone in that role must have. Perhaps it’s time for you to enroll in a class or workshop. Next, do your due diligence. Thoroughly researching the organizations you are considering will save you long term grief if there is a cultural fit.
As a seasoned professional you should already understand the importance of staying connected with your counterparts. You probably already attend professional organizations within your industry but what about your personal network? Summer is the season for barbecues and neighborhood get-togethers. At your cousin’s beach bon-fire you may meet the best connection at your ideal company.
Strengthen your professional network by reconnecting. Have you connected with previous employers and colleagues through LinkedIn? Is there a connection you can reach out to directly to schedule lunch or coffee? Stealthy conversing with your professional contacts is an excellent way to start getting the word out that you are looking to transition. Never underestimate the power of a good referral.
While no one wants to spend their vacation working, perhaps taking a few hours while you’re lounging by the pool during the long summer days is a great way to begin your search. Knowing that hiring managers will be ramping-up in just a few months, use the summer to get your “ducks in a row.” When September rolls around, you will have a top-notch resume to submit and hopefully several new professionals in your sphere of influence.
About the Authors
Ken Schmitt is CEO and Founder of TurningPoint Executive Search and the Sales & Marketing Leadership Alliance. Specializing in placing sales, marketing and operations professionals across the country, Ken’s 18 years of recruiting experience have equipped him with the knowledge to serve as a thought partner to his clients for all recruiting, hiring and human capital-related initiatives. Ken sits on the board of Junior Achievement, San Diego Sports Innovators (SDSI), AA-ISP Orange County (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals), San Diego HR Roundtable and is an Advisory Board Member for the American Marketing Association.
Vicky Willenberg has served as the Social Media Manager for TurningPoint since 2011. In 2014, she was elevated to Digital Marketing Manager, broadening her participation across all things digital for the firm. A former teacher with a Master of Education, Vicky is an active and published blogger at The Pursuit of Normal and a marketing professional. She has her finger on the pulse of the latest trends in the recruiting, hiring and leadership sectors.