If you’re like many job seekers, you may think that companies tend to cut back hiring during the summer months, but the truth is that employers search for qualified candidates in every season. As freelance career writer Kat Boogaard points out (4 Reasons Summer's Actually the Best Time to Job Search), recruiters and hiring managers don’t take summers off, and companies don’t stop their operations, so don’t buy into the myth that hiring slows down in the summer. Even if some recruiters and hiring managers take a vacation or a long weekend, no one is ever really “out of the office” or away from their email in our current round-the-clock world of work.
There are many reasons why summer can be a great time to keep your job search momentum going, including:
There are plenty of job openings. Companies need to fill open positions throughout the year. If you stop searching, you could miss out on good opportunities.
There is probably less competition. Since many job seekers assume that summer is not the time to search for a job, there will likely be less people participating in the application process. If recruiters have fewer resumes to review, your chances of standing out from others increase.
Hiring managers are often less busy. While you’ll probably encounter out-of-office emails from some hiring managers on vacation, many managers are less busy and not as involved in new initiatives and projects during the summer months. With less on their plates, hiring managers can give more time and attention to filling open positions, and your application stands a better chance of being reviewed more promptly.
There are contract-to-hire opportunities. According to recruiting expert Patty Coffey (7 Reasons To Keep Up Your Job Search This Summer), many organizations hire contract employees during the summer to fill extended vacations and sabbaticals, and these positions sometimes turn into permanent employment.
If you’re currently employed, you may be able to schedule interviews more easily. Many companies have a more relaxed schedule in July and August, so you may have more chances to slip out for job interviews unnoticed. Also, your boss won’t think it’s odd if you take a vacation day or two.
Besides keeping your focus on researching and applying for jobs, career consultant Annette Richmond (Summer Job Search Tips) thinks the summer is an ideal time to:
Take advantage of summer networking opportunities. Summer tends to be a social season, so you can use golf outings, barbeques and neighborhood get-togethers as networking opportunities. Stay alert for opportunities to meet new people during an afternoon at the beach or a Sunday at a local food festival. It may turn out that your friend’s date works at a company you are targeting.
Update your resume. If you haven’t updated your resume recently, summer can be a good time to make sure your resume is up to date and to develop some sample cover letters for different types of jobs. If a job opportunity presents itself, you want to be ready to respond rather than having to scramble at the last minute.
Brush up on your skills. Employers are often concerned about candidates whose skills have become stale during gaps in employment. Summer is a great time to expand your knowledge by taking a course on such topics as QuickBooks or Microsoft Office at your local community college.
Attend Workshops at the Tri-Valley Career Center. The Tri-Valley Career Center offers a regular schedule of workshops. Summer hours are Mondays and Thursdays: 9:00AM - 5:00PM; Tuesday and Wednesdays: 9:00AM - 7:00PM. To see the upcoming workshops scheduled, visit www.trivalleycareercenter.org.
Create a summer job search schedule. As freelance jobs writer Beth Braccio Hering (6 Tips for Job Searching in the Summer) points out, summer can be a challenging time to stay focused, so it’s important to plan ahead in order to accomplish what you want while also enjoying guilt-free summer fun. Block out periods of time on your calendar to devote exclusively to job searching, and use a detailed, prioritized to-do list.
If you’re looking for a new job, summer is not the time to slack off. There are jobs out there, and it’s the focused and persistent job hunters who get them. The fact that many people neglect their job search during the summer could end up being a big advantage for people like you who don’t.