For the most savvy job seekers, there's no time like summer to get ahead of the competition, a new survey suggests. While many would-be employees assume companies are unreceptive during the vacation months, a job search expert says people who put their job search on hold for the summer may be missing out on a big opportunity. Even making sure to carry a business card while attending a barbecue can make a difference.
"Summer is a fantastic time to jump-start your job-search efforts, because your application will have less competition, plus it offers numerous social events for networking and fine-tuning your elevator pitch," said Amanda Augustine of the online employment-adviser company TheLadders, which based its research on a survey of hundreds of its subscribers.
"Chronicling job-seeker behavior throughout the year, we see spikes in January – likely due to New Year's resolutions and disappointing holiday bonuses – and again in September, when kids go back to school," Augustine noted.
Of the workers contacted by TheLadders, 71 percent said they feel employers are less likely to respond to them during summer months. Workers also said they believed searching for a job during the summer is more competitive and harder than during other months.
Overall, 19 percent said they were less active searching for a job during the summer, while 44 percent said they were more active.
Workers can gain an edge in their search by following several simple tips, Augustine said. Those tips include:
- Get résumé-ready – "A recent study conducted by TheLadders reports that recruiters spend just six seconds reviewing a résumébefore making an initial decision," Augustine said. "With a professionally written résumé, candidates are 40 percent more likely to land the job they want."
- Perfect your personal brand – "An online presence speaks volumes to potential employers," Augustine said. "Increase the security settings on all personal profiles to keep information and photos private, and update professional profiles to align with one's current résumé."
- Party with a purpose – "Summertime is a social time," Augustine said. "Take advantage of barbecues, baseball games and beach parties to expand professional networks. Carry business cards at all times, and practice an elevator pitch with fellow guests."
- Quench their thirst – "Workloads tend to be lighter during the summer, making it a perfect time to invite industry associates for iced coffee," Augustine said. "Use the time to pick their brains and get a pulse on their companies and the industry overall."
- Set summer hours – "Although children are on summer vacation, there is no break from the job search," Augustine said. "Setting summer hours means allocating time for opportunistic outreach and maintaining that schedule."