This post is a warning to job seekers at this time of year to dispel one of the great job seeking myths of all time: the seasonality of the job search.
For Americans, the summer invokes the sight of a shore and bathing suits and frolicking in the surf and the sun. It’s cooling down in the ocean by day and sitting around a cookout with beer and wine coolers by night. It’s a family vacation or a much-needed city getaway or can be the closed door to your apartment for some serious alone time.
However, for the unemployed, the summer conjures up images totally opposite the ones mentioned above. It’s passive concern, lackluster opportunities, and missing the security that comes with a job.
Now I will get onto the great myth. It’s been said, and accepted by many of you, that all but essential hiring is put on hold from the middle of June until the middle of August. This is, supposedly, “On the Beach” summer time when decision makers focus on everything other than HR matters, a time to try to conserve their budget, and the need to hire is not as urgent and can be pushed off.
Whether the statistics prove this is true in aggregate, it’s a dangerous notion for individual job seekers to accept. They put their job search on hold or, if not on hold, they greatly curtail their job search efforts because they think it is a waste of time and will not lead to a job offer during the peak summer months. And seeing others around them being carefree this time of year induces them to follow suit.
If you think this way, I suggest you stop doing so and adhere to the following rules.
1: Job search is a process beyond our control that, in a majority of situation, is dependent on “being in the right place at the right time.” The combination of right place and right time is not seasonal. So you need to continue doing what you’re doing, even in the summer (perhaps accelerate some of the more time-intensive training or preparing efforts), at this time of year to keep your momentum going and increase your odds for success.
2: Assume that a lot of your competition is acting lazier at this time of year, so by continuing in your efforts you have less competition for any job opening and that is a positive in any job search.
3: Whereas the interview process may take longer in the summer and decision makers may take longer to pull the trigger on an offer, the pipeline is still being filled with talent and hiring never stops, so stay persistent with employers who are lagging.
4: An important part of job search is networking and this is a time of year when social networking opportunities are more common. You are more likely to be out and about and meeting new people i.e. at BBQ’s, concerts, and networking events. It could be at little league practice and games, in the park, or a playground if you have younger kids. Or the baseball stadium, golf course, tennis court and gym if you’re physically active and at parties and clubs if you are nightlife social. Don’t diminish any connection you can make -- you never know what new friend might know someone who can lend you a helping hand.
5: This is a time of year when a lot of employees tend to relocate, creating great opportunities with a short shelf life. You want your resume and name out there when these jobs come on the market, so keep yourself aware to these fresh openings and be one of the first to apply.