With summer officially here it reminds me of the Nat King Cole song about those lazy, hazy days of summer. It definitely conjures up the idea of kicking back and relaxing from whatever we do for a living, and certainly well-deserved for many. But for those in search of a new job, contrary to customary thinking, summer is not the time to kick back. If anything, summer offers the optimal time to meet people who can best help you in your search.
Many job hunters take the view that companies won’t be actively recruiting during the summer months. While it’s not unusual for companies to scale back their hiring over the summer, it doesn’t slow down their search for new talent. Since the period following Labor Day is often the second highest hiring period (following the period right after the New Year), companies are actively sourcing candidates during the summer months. So the question is not so much “why” job search at this time of year, but the more critical notion of “when” to search. And that means now!
So why does summer become so important to job searching? During the summer many hiring managers are traveling less, attending fewer meetings, and generally kicking back and relaxing from the yearly grind. What better time to reach out to them for a networking meeting when they’re more likely to spend time with you? Also, most job hunters take the attitude that since not much is happening over the summer, and put their search on hiatus, you have less competition for people's attention.
You notice I have not mentioned anything about reaching out to companies regarding specific job openings. Of course, if there is a job posting that appears to have your name on it, by all means go through the application process. I would encourage you, however, to still try to network your way into the company, and specifically to the hiring manager. Again, less competition for that manager’s attention.
The important thing is to get out and meet people during the summer months who can be helpful to you in your job search. It doesn’t matter if the individual you’re seeking out has an open position, but more importantly they may have an opening in the near future, or be a great referral to others of influence in getting you closer to a real job.
We know from past job hunters’ experiences that most job offers come through networking. So, in the weeks ahead enjoy the summer, relax, but most importantly have that next ice coffee (or cold organic Chai tea if that’s your preference) with someone who will appreciate your job search efforts.