You’ve been searching for a new job for weeks, maybe even months, and summer has arrived. The weather is warm, friends are on vacation from their own jobs, and beaches and barbecues are calling your name. Now’s a good time to give your search a rest, right?
Wrong. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17% of hiring occurs in July and August — meaning if there’s any time to keep pushing for employment, it’s now.
And there are more reasons than just that statistic:
During the summer months, when so many employees are taking vacation time, employers can slow down and take the time to look for new hires.
“July and August are prime-time hiring and interviewing months for many employers,” said Patty Prosser, chair of OI Partners, in a recent press release. “When companies get new business mid-year or later, this can collide with past-due work and both demand hands on board now.”
Plenty of other job seekers will also fall into the trap of summer — it’s way more fun to hang out in the sun than to get dressed up for an interview. Don’t be one of them, and you’ll already be ahead of the pack. Amy Lindgren, owner of Prototype Career Service, suggests setting aside the hours you will work on your job search as if it were your real job– no other distractions during that time. Before you know it, you’ll have done 20 hours before the end of the week and still have time to go to the beach with friends!
2. This is the time to network.
No, you don’t have to give up all the fun of summer to look for a job. Poolside barbecues? Outdoor festivals? Picnics and concerts and events galore? All opportunities for the golden word of the job search: networking. Keep up with online applications and LinkedIn connections while you’re inside, but when it’s time to go out, remember to bring up your job search and make connections with as many people as possible — as usual, you never know who might be the key to your next position.
Besides, as Randy Wooden, a career consultant, writes in the Winston-Salem Journal, networking is a lifestyle. You need to stick with it, and taking a summer vacation isn’t an option.
“If you sit out for a couple of months, you’ll no longer remain in the front of your contacts’ minds,” Wooden says. “Your
network, like your summertime garden, requires attention if you expect it to bear fruit.”
3. More free time means more time to learn!
Getting a job these days is all about having the right skills, but the breakneck pace of Winter, Spring and Fall can make it hard to expand your skill set. Use the less packed summer to learn a skill that’s always fallen by the wayside or to build on skills you don’t really use. Have a blog that you haven’t updated in months? Make posting a habit again. Try learning some basic coding, or beefing up on the newest trends in social media — your future employer will thank you.
And as Randstad Canada reminds us, don’t forget to update your resume with all those skills! The summer is also a great time to look over your resume and online accounts and clean out any old or outdated information.
Though hot sun and sandy beaches may seem much more appealing than resumes and applications, don’t give up! Share your summer job search stories in the comments.