Don’t get fooled into thinking the summer months are when you can drop off the grid entirely and forget about your job search. And don’t think you have to miss out on those summer rays in order to land a job, either.
Last month, we gave four easy ways to jumpstart your summer job search. Now we’re going even further with ideas for easy ways to stay on top of your search so you can have the best of both worlds: a chill summer and an awesome new job. Career expert Alex Twersky shows us how.
1. Set Up Job Alerts
It’s true that companies do slow down their search in the summer, but there are still plenty of companies looking to fill critical open slots during this time of year—just take a look at our job board for proof.
That’s why it’s a great idea to set up job alerts, which allow you to fill out exactly the type of job you’re looking for and get emails when the openings hit the job board.
Job alerts “can give you the best of both worlds: notification when something interesting pops up without being tethered to your computer and hunting for opportunities daily,” says Twersky.
2. Use the Smaller Candidate Pool to Your Advantage
With fewer companies looking for candidates, it might be tempting to hit snooze on your job search until the fall. But “by not dropping off the grid completely during the summer lull you may be in a better position to apply for jobs because your competitive pool will be smaller,” says Twersky. “Smaller because some of them will literally be spending time by a pool when the temperatures rise.”
So rather than take the time off with the rest of the job seekers, use this time to gain some visibility in an otherwise overcrowded job market.
3. Learn Something New
Think of summer as the down time you need to prep for the fall hiring season. (Cue ’80s montage music.) One great way to take advantage of the extra time is by learning something new related to your industry. “Adding to your skill sets during the summer recruitment lull can position you better for landing the right job when the fall hiring season gains steam,” says Twersky.
Glean more about commonly desired skills for the positions you’re going after. Scan several posting for jobs you’d be interested in and note all the required skills you feel less-than-stellar at. Then bridge your skills gap with a class such as one of Mediabistro’s Skills In 60 series, a lineup of courses that are quick, easy and loaded with industry info.
4. Up Your Networking
If you’ve been meaning to up your networking game, or even request an informational interview at a company you’ve been eyeing, then summer’s the best time to do so. “People are usually in a more relaxed mood over the summer,” says Twersky, “and that makes them more open to requests for informational interviews and the like.”
And with the great weather, why not make it easy on them? Suggest setting up a meeting at an outdoor cafe near their office.
5. Get Some R&R
A job search is best executed with a fresh head, so don’t forget to carve out some time to actually enjoy the summer.
“The worst thing you can do is be cooped up indoors while the sun is shining and all of your friends are taking time off for vacations or other seasonal entertainments, while you’re sitting indoors, AC blasting, in the glow of your LCD screen,” says Twersky.
Dedicate some time to clearing your mind, focusing on the job you want—and actually catching some rays yourself. “When you’ve done that,” says Twersky, “hit the GO button and apply all of the clarity, focus and passion you have to find the job you want and start the fall off on a new career path.”