As a recruiting professional, I am constantly hearing job-seekers say that they are considering putting their job search on hold during the summer months. However, after being in the recruitment field for close to 20 years I can personally vouch for the fact that hiring continues to take place in June, July and August. If you are looking for a new career, then taking a “job-search vacation” during this time is simply counterproductive.
The best way to find career opportunities is by using a variety of strategies, including networking, research, and by constantly honing your job-searching skills.
Networking is nothing more than getting to know people. Adopting a networking lifestyle (a lifestyle of constantly connecting and interacting with others) can certainly assist you in finding the right job. It also allows you to make strong connections in your field and stay focused, enthusiastic and motivated during your job search.
Consider the following strategies to help you network your way to a new job this summer:
- Consult a recruiter (some of us are really nice!): Many jobs are not advertised publicly and you must connect directly via a recruiter who will look for suitable candidates to present to their customers. You should describe your goals and seek their assistance.
- Strengthen your relationships: Make a list of people of that you have not contacted for more than a year. Reconnect. Meet them for a coffee or lunch. Similarly, keep on identifying the most influential people in your network who could help you to be selected for your desired job.
- Connect with alumni: People who share similar interests and hobbies prove helpful to each other. The best way to grow your network is to keep on adding new alumni every week. This strategy works well if you focus on alumni working in your area of expertise or desired field.
- Attend events: Ideally, seek out events organized by professional associations in your area of specialization. It may be beneficial to review a list of attendees beforehand. Identify at least one person who you would like to meet and make arrangements to meet there in person.
- Use LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a popular and effective tool to easily connect with the right people. For example, if you are an accountant, lawyer or IT professional then you can search your target industries and aim to connect with potential hiring managers and human resource professionals in these industries.
- Update Your Skills: Attend workshops and training sessions in your area of specialization. Try to find sessions that are made-to-measure to your intended career path and put you a step ahead of other applicants.
- Join a Club: Everyone has outside interests! Clubs are great places to interact with others who share similar interests. Cycling clubs, health clubs, chess clubs, golf, tennis, ski clubs (and many others) provide opportunities to connect.
- Job Boards: Put your resume on job boards and update/refresh it weekly to avoid getting shifted deeper into the abyss of other applicants.
- Reach out to friends, family and acquaintances: They may help you find a job and can recommend you to their network as well. A personal reference can speak towards your character and work ethic and will be highly regarded by a potential future employer.
Remember, simply because the sun is out and the grass is finally green, it is not a reason to slow down your job search or networking functions. If recruiters are still working and the job boards have not put out a “Closed For The Summer” sign, then companies are still hiring and are likely looking for candidates with your exact skill-set. Your primary goal as a job-seeker is to make sure they find you! Happy networking!
Sean Kogan is co-founder and Managing Partner of Recruiting in Motion.