Think a summer job search for a professional position is a waste of time? Think again. With the right strategy, summer can be the perfect season for landing your dream job.
Many job seekers hit the pause button on their job searches during the summer months. Based on the belief that the best employers don’t hire in July and August, it’s not uncommon for people seeking full-time, professional employment to kick back and catch some rays until Labor Day is in the rear view mirror.
But more often than not, the decision to avoid a summer job search is a mistake. In some industries, summer can be the ideal time of year to land a position with a top employer.
Why a Summer Job Search Makes Sense
Although hiring processes can be a little slower during the summer months, it’s a myth that the best employers don’t hire during July and August.
- Seasonal recruitment cycles have changed. In the past, recruiters and execs took extended vacations, which made summer a bleak season for hiring. But these days, very few people take vacations that last longer than a week, so the seasonal hiring cycles that dominated job markets as recently as a decade ago no longer apply.
- Fewer applicants means better odds of success. The perception that employers never hire in the summer can mean fewer applicants competing for available positions. Unless the job you’re applying for has been listed for more than three months, you may have more success now than you will in September or October.
- Some industries do most of their hiring in the summer. Summer is a major hiring season for certain industries. For example, school districts frequently hire teachers, aides and other staff during July and August, but rarely hire after the school year has started. Depending on your industry, the decision to not conduct a summer job search could result in a serious career setback.
Tips for a Summer Job Search
A summer job search for a full-time, professional position is much like a job search during the other months of the year. Nothing changes when it comes to your resume, professional contacts, interview strategy, etc.
However, the summer months also introduce a few new wrinkles that can be used to your benefit:
- Get organized. Organized job seekers regularly beat out more qualified applicants who lack organization. As the pace of your personal life slows down during the summer, use the extra time to get organized and to create a coherent strategy for your job search.
- Develop a routine. By now, you’ve probably realized that your dream job isn’t going to land in your lap. You’re going to have to work for it and that means developing a daily routine. But all work and no play can quickly lead to burn out. Create a routine that weaves breaks for fun, summer activities into your daily job search commitments.
- Identify networking events. Summer is a great time of year for networking. In addition to industry events that capitalize on the traditions of summer, even local gatherings like community picnics or your kids’ Little League games can offer opportunities to expand and cultivate your network.
- Get out of the house. Sometimes landing a job boils down to being in the right place at the right time. Seemingly random connections and events can provide the missing ingredient for your job search, so use the fair weather months to get out of the house and explore possibilities that you put off during the spring. Recruiters and industry insiders often have more time during the summer months and may be available to offer advice for your job search.
- Be patient, but persistent. Even industries that conduct summer hiring experience slowdowns in hiring processes during July and August due to vacations. You will need to be a little more patient than you were in May and June, but be persistent. By regularly touching base with decision makers and influencers, you will communicate your interest in the position and keep your application on recruiters’ and decision makers’ radar.
Many companies and industries experience a slower pace of life during the summer months. But life doesn’t come to a standstill because there’s still work to be done.
That’s a good way to approach your summer job search. Enjoy the pleasures of summer, but don’t let the season derail your efforts. Instead, by using the season to your advantage you can significantly increase the odds of landing your dream job before the kids go back to school.