Summer is a difficult time for job seekers to focus on the ultimate goal; there are too many diversions that can take your attention away from your daily task as well as the fact that recruiters themselves may be on a summer vacation of their own and may not be available to decide on their final candidate. The unfortunate fact is that between Memorial Day and Labor Day, it can be very difficult to get the attention of decision-makers and that without your full and undivided focus on your next assignment at this time, you might find yourself in a stalled search until September.
The summer hiatus can be a wonderful opportunity, especially for candidates with vacationing school-aged children to be able to again experience the pleasure and excitement of spending time with your kids during the summer months but it is vital to remember that the time lost in your search now will necessitate a lengthier search come the cooler months of fall.
Here are a few ideas that might make your summer more job search beneficial:
1) Since the summer days seem to start earlier due to the early morning sunrise, why not start your job searching work day as early as you can. Concentrate on the job boards and blogs to determine what the on-going discussions are and if there are any new positions that meet your qualifications and fancy.
2) Make your phone calls before noon while your contacts are still fresh and might be willing to converse with you. Obviously, your contacts will not appreciate a call prior to 9:00 AM so don’t even try. Of course you can leave voice mail messages at any time and your early morning tasks can certainly include those calls, if you so desire. Such early morning voice mail messages may show your contacts what a dedicated individual you are by starting your day so early.
3) It is highly unlikely that you are going to make contact with anyone on a Friday in the summertime. By past experiences, those who are in the office are much too busy wanting to clear their desks off for the weekend and you will also find the likelihood of many individuals not even in the office on Friday since they have decided to extend their summer weekend into 3 days. And if the Friday is prior to a holiday – you might as well join them in enjoying the weather because you will not get the attention of any decision-maker until they return from the holiday weekend.
4) Take this summer downtime to refresh your job search approach. If you haven’t tweaked your standard resume in a while this is the time to do just that. Though you should always make sure that your resume is specific to the needs of every particular job search, let’s be honest we all use a standard format and rarely make the document drastically new for any specific job. Create a resume that you might be able to use specifically for a certain industry or maybe designated for a foundation rather than a trade or professional society. Having an inventory of segregated resumes will make the job search process easier once more positions become available.
5) Getting your name (brand) more exposure is as easy as visiting pertinent blogs and articles (Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, etc.) and retweeting the digital articles that may have an interest for your connections. It is vital for contacts to see that you are not hibernating during the summer months. Exposure is important for your future job and I am not talking about sun tanning.
6) There will definitely be summer days that you will have other things to do than focusing 100% on your job search; you are a multi-tasking kind of person and you certainly can do more than one thing at a time. Bring along a notebook or your iPad so that you can keep record of your ideas and thoughts on your job search as you spend your day away from your “office.” You will amaze yourself how many new thoughts and ideas will be generated as you enjoy your day off.
7) At neighborhood picnics and family reunions make sure that you don’t dwell on your situation ad nauseum but do make sure that you take this opportunity to get the word out that you are a free agent and that you are open to new situations. You never know who in the group will have a contact that can assist. A certain amount of subtlety is suggested because no one really wants to spend the whole afternoon talking about your job search.
The summer months can indeed be a valuable time for your job search; contacts can be made at unusual venues and despite the limited interaction time with recruiters you certainly can get their attention in many different ways without being a pest. Enjoy the summer months, be a part of the real world as they slow down and relax but remember that your goal is to be employed soon and you must be focused on that goal so that come fall, you can be enjoying your new role and new title with a new employer.
Dan Borschke is a Certified Association Executive who has been a CEO for 3 distinct trade associations in his career. He is one of only 230 Association Executives worldwide who has been granted the prestigious designation of Fellow by the American Society of Association Executives since 1986. He currently is between positions and has written more than 50,000 words or 100 blog postings on the topics of job search and career transition. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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