Your Job Search Is Not a Summer Vacation!

By Joe Stein

We are in the middle of summer and it is very tempting for someone to take his or her foot off the job search pedal. Summer has so many distractions with all of the events that occur in WNY, the temptation of traveling or just the chance to soak in some sunshine.
 
Savvy Job Seekers, however, stay focused and treat their job search like a Full-Time position and do not work any less on finding their next position due to the summer season.
 
Myth #1:        No company is hiring in the summer.
 
Reality #1:      This is a key time for organizations. The era of summer slowdown for most is in the distant past. If a company is on a fiscal calendar, they are at the halfway point. This is not yet close to year-end where you may freeze a position for budget reasons, which leaves plenty of time for the new recruit to make an impact in 2006. The other reality is that if a position is open and it needs a replacement, a company is not going to wait until the leaves begin to fall to fill the job.  
 
Myth #2:         Hiring Managers are all on vacation in the summer.
 
Reality #2:      While the process may take longer due to having to work around someone’s vacation, the reality is that positions need to be filled during the summer. During the summer, you may have to be more flexible and even more available in your job search. There may be situations due to vacations where, on little notice, you are called in to meet with someone before they take some time off. 
 
Myth #3:         Most Job Seekers take the summer off from their search.
 
Reality #3:      That is not true, but if it was, then that should be an even greater incentive for you to dive into your search. Less competition means more opportunities for you. 
 
Myth #4:         I have plenty time for any Fall hiring surge.
 
Reality #4:      The Bills training camp is upon us and that only can mean one thing…fall is not far away. If you want to be considered for a position in the fall you need to be job seeking and applying now. In most situations, a person does not wait until September or October for a position starting in the fall. For an exempt-level position, the typical job search is 3 to 6+ months.   Often, for these positions, there is an elapsed time of 1-3 months from the time of application to when the prospective employer provides a job offer. This is because today’s hiring practices often require a phone screen, multiple interviews, and reference checking before an offer can be extended. The cost of hiring for an employer is so high they want to make sure they are making the right decision on a person. 
 
Myth #5:         Hiring Managers won’t care about your gap in employment over the summer.
 
Reality #5:      Hiring Managers look closely at any gaps in employment. You will need to be able to provide an answer in the fall better than you took the summer off. Most prospective employers will conclude that this is a reflection of the individuals overall work ethic. 
 
If you do decide to break away from your job search during the summer for a little vacation then think about these tips:
 

 

  • If you are currently living out-of-town and seeking to return to WNY then consider visiting here on your vacation. It is a great way to become reacquainted with the area and provides a personal touch to your job search.
     
  • Stay wired on your vacation. Check your home messages. Provide any Hiring Managers you are working with a number where you can be reached. Try to have access to a computer for job searching or the e-mailing of a Resume.
     
  • Keep your time away from home as short as possible. Consider long weekends instead of weeklong getaways.
 
Things To Do This Summer:
 
  • Don’t forget to network this summer. This is the time when there are many social events to meet people you have not seen in a long time. Let these individuals know of your job search and ask for any leads. Be prepared to give your contact information out to them. At these events always leave a good impression, so dress smartly and act even smarter around alcohol.
  • If there is a delay waiting for your key leads to get kick started this summer then take the downtime for personal development. It is always a good idea to improve your computer skills. Read the business books that people around you always talked about but you never found the time to read. Reconnect with your professional organizations both for the networking, but also the industry and job information they provide.
     
  • Consider a temporary or contracted position. This type of position will provide you with some income and perhaps sharpen your skills. It may even provide you with a regular position once the assignment ends! Many companies hire temporary or contracted employees in the summer to fill-in for vacations or to assist with projects. 
As you probably concluded, the consensus is that you should continue your job search during the summer. Your work during these summer months will be rewarded while others who chose to relax will find themselves frantically looking for employment.
 
As always, best of luck in your job search.