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Make no mistake: people do get hired in the summer. As a job seeker, this means that the summer is not an excuse to take three months off from your search. In fact, if you continue to look while others may not be, you get a jump-start on your competition. Nonetheless, you need to adjust your tactics to account for the different pace and temperament that summer brings. Try these 5 tips.
Use vacations to reinvigorate your networking.
You don’t want every contact to be about your job search. During the summer, ask about other people’s vacations. Offer up your own plans – this forces you to actually take a rest and to do something interesting enough to talk about. When you engage people on a personal level it often circles back to professional talk. You might find that leading with vacation talk -- yours or theirs -- enables you to connect with people who are not as responsive other times of the year.
Book those otherwise hard-to-get meetings.
If you haven’t been able to schedule that informational meeting, try again during the summer months, when it’s easier to get meetings because the work pace is calmer and people are in a better mood. Remember to include people you might have seen just a few months ago – business conditions change.
Invite people outside.
Propose a walk or lunch at an outdoor café. People who normally get caught up in their work will appreciate the opportunity to celebrate the season. While summer is normally a quiet time for professional networking events, it’s a great time to schedule your own networking meetings.
Take advantage of the added daylight.
This doesn’t mean you have to spend the extra time on your search. Get more exercise. Do additional reading, on a lounge chair outdoors. Meet a friend at a park. You will bring more energy, more perspective, and more engagement into your job search even if you spend the extra time on seemingly non-search related activities.
Confirm timing in every meeting and job interview.
On the logistical side, the summer months can be more challenging for scheduling meetings and interviews. If four people are deciding on a hire and each has a different vacation, the process could stretch out for a few extra weeks. If you are interviewing, make sure you confirm exactly what the next steps are and when you will hear back. You don’t want to worry unnecessarily when it turns out a key decision-maker is on a two-week vacation. Even if it’s just a networking meeting, ask about timing of next steps – maybe the person you met with really does want to introduce you to someone else but that person takes the whole month of July off.
The summer months bring scheduling challenges but networking advantages. Stay on top of the timetables so you are realistic about next steps. Use the long summer day, warm weather, and generally slower work environment to rekindle your networking. Most important, keep on with your job search, and don’t assume that hiring stops.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career expert with SixFigureStart®. She is a former recruiter in management consulting, financial services, media, technology, and pharma/ biotech.