Just because its summertime and the “livin’ is easy” as the song goes, it does not mean that our job search becomes less focused or directed. Some job seekers tend to take a much more informal or relaxed approach to job search and operate under some summertime job search myths. The biggest mistake is to allow yourself to be discouraged and sit in front of the computer screen feeling isolated and discouraged. Keep these tips in mind to stay focused and continue your job search momentum.
- This is a great time to schedule information interviews. Get on the phone to schedule fact-finding, informational interviews.
- Everyone is not on vacation. Don’t assume that people are away during the summer and that work slows down. Approach your search with the same brisk focus in August as you have in February. Work has to get done and interviews are scheduled regardless of the calendar or the warmth of the weather.
- Many companies work on a July/June fiscal year so summer is a great time to take advantage of a new fiscal cycle. Many companies and divisions begin a strong hiring cycle at the beginning of their fiscal year to take advantage of budget. Be the first candidate on their minds to take advantage of a new fiscal year and new hiring cycle.
- Take advantage of barbeques and summer socials. Summer is a great time to informally network in a more relaxed setting. Accept invitations to barbeques, swimming pool parties, and other fun gatherings and network. Have your 30-second introduction polished up and get ready to make connections over the grill or around the pool.
- It’s easy to shift into a more informal wardrobe during hot summer weather, but don’t forget that during an interview you are expected to look the part. Shift to lighter weight fabrics and lighter colors but still maintain the proper work attire to help make that all-important first impression. Stay away from revealing tank tops, too-short skirts, exposed toes or flip-flops, collar-less shirts, baggy shorts. Slacks should be crisply pressed, shirts should be fresh, socks should be worn.
- Refresh, relax and spend with family. Take this time off so you can return to your job search refreshed, focused, with goals in site and ready to hit the job market with a fresh attitude. Recharge your job-search batteries with long weekends with family and friends.
- Summer is a great time to research former colleagues, college pals and old friends. Access some social networking sites and track down past friends and acquaintances. Set up networking meetings for those in your same town or reach out to your network on the internet. Summer is a great time to reestablish past connections and bring them up to date on your job search.
- Participate in job search workshops and networking groups to stay connected with others in your situation. Reach out to get the support, advice and inspiration you need to stay focused on your bright future.
- Try something new. Take a class, volunteer; challenge yourself. Once you make that bungee-jump or kayak those rapids, you will find that doing something typically stressful, like job interviews or networking in a room full of people you haven’t met, will become easier. Expand your boundaries and allow your job search to benefit from your growth.
Don’t make assumptions about vacation mentality or limit yourself just because it is summer. Keep your momentum by making a minimum of 10 new contacts each week, keeping your goals in sight and staying focused on connecting with decision makers. Be as crisp and directed in August as you are in March and it will pay off for you. Stay engaged; volunteer, get out to the park, take time to enjoy the summer sun. You never know who you will meet at the park!