A job search can be tough during any given point in the year, but for some reason or another it always seems to be difficult during the holidays and summer months. Why is that? Well for one it seems like everyone is on vacation at the same time. You may find yourself wondering if anyone is even hiring because you haven’t heard back. And on top of that, there is a whole new wave of recent millennial graduates entering the work force during the summer months, so again my question is how are you handling your job search this summer and what are you doing to stand out?
You may already be receiving a slew of endless advice from friends, family and former employers, but just in case you haven’t, here are some tips on how to manage your job search during the summer lull.
Have A Plan
Commit a few hours every day to researching companies and applying to positions that interest you. It’s tedious and time consuming but required in order to start the process. Set a goal every day to apply to 5, 10 or 15 jobs. Remember to be realistic and apply to jobs that align not only with your interest but experience and skill set. I’m not saying settle, but if you are entry-level maybe stay away from jobs that require seven years of experience. It is also important to have a routine. Looking for a new job is a full-time job itself, but find other ways to use your time too. Volunteer, exercise, take a class and do things that make you happy. The job search can be difficult and it’s important to maintain a level of happiness and work-life balance.
Be Your Own Marketer
Sell yourself, review your resume and highlight your relevant experience and skill set for each position you apply to. If certain positions require information such as quota or projects managed make sure you emphasize those accomplishments. Have friends and family members give it a read and offer input. However, this is extremely important, do not lie on your resume. Your resume is the first thing a hiring manager will see so make sure it’s polished and reflects your experiences appropriately. Your resume is technically your first impression. On the other side, don’t be afraid to show off your hard work and accomplishments. You can also be creative and make a digital resume or personal website that holds all of your work. Remember you want to stand out and you want the job!
If you aren’t already participating in social media, get started today. Create a LinkedIn profile and connect with people. If you applied to a job, look up that company and connect with a hiring manager or someone in a similar position at the company. Send them a message introducing yourself and expressing your interest in the opportunity. It is important to not be overly aggressive when following-up with people, but it does not hurt to occasionally touch base and see how the hiring process is going. Follow those companies that interest you on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest to have a better understanding of who they are and the kind of company culture they have. Retweet, comment and join the conversation. Get creative on how to connect with a possible employer. Research those companies on Glassdoor and see what former and current employees have to say.
If you are active in the social media world, make sure your personal profiles are private. I cannot emphasize that enough. I also recommend going through your photos and posts to make sure that there are no inappropriate items a hiring manager can see. We live in a social world, so don’t think it so far-fetched that when someone receives your resume that they are not immediately looking you up online.
Work With A Recruiter
Most recruiting agencies are a free service to you, so don’t be afraid to utilize them. Talk with a recruiter to have a better understanding of your own story. It is a great way to hone your interviewing skills and basically receive a free resume review. Recruiters will introduce possible opportunities that align with your background and they want to see you succeed with their clients. Recruiting agencies also usually have a variety of different jobs that are confidential searches that you cannot even find posted on a company’s website, so stay open-minded and welcome the career guidance.
Stay Positive And Don’t Settle
I know this may be easier said than done considering the current state of our economy, but it’s important to have a positive outlook. When looking for an opportunity, sometimes a paycheck is the most appealing aspect. We all need money. Trust me, I get it, but as cliché as it may sound don’t settle. You don’t want to find yourself falling into a job or a career that doesn’t align with what you truly want to do. If you say you’re going to do it just for the time being, be careful because before you know it you will be looking for another opportunity but will be facing the same obstacles you did with your first job search. Most importantly, lean on your friends and family for support. Don’t give up and stay positive. Companies are hiring and they will see your resume!
This advice should hold true throughout the entire year and at any time when you are considering new opportunities, but stay consistent through the “slow months.” Even though times are tough, you are not alone. Stay positive and take control of your search. Your persistence will pay-off and you will finally receive that “Yes!” landing you the job you want!