BY ERIN EWART
Summer is finally here! As you prep for beach and barbecue season, it can be tempting to let your job search slide. Everyone else is on vacation, so why shouldn’t you be?
And while taking vacation is important for all of us, it’s also important not to put your search completely on hold during the summer. Here are 4 reasons that summer is actually a great time for your job search.
1. You can take advantage of downtime. Summer tends to be a slower time at work, meaning people have more time to do things they may not otherwise be able to fit in – like meet with you! Networking is the foundation of your job search, so double down on your efforts and talk to as many people as you can. Set goals for yourself and track your progress to keep your motivation and accountability high. And remember that with summer vacations it may take longer to hear back and get on people’s calendars, so doing more outreach and follow up this time of year is key.
2. You have a calendar full of events. Every event you attend, even casual get togethers with family and friends, is a chance to meet new people and tell them about your search. You never know who might be able to help you, so don’t be shy about telling everyone you meet about what you’re looking for. In addition to social events, you can find more targeted networking events in your city through professional associations and sites like Meetup and Eventbrite – and make sure to join our quarterly networking events too! Be sure to follow up with anyone you make a meaningful connection with to set up a longer conversation.
3. It’s the perfect time to get your foot in the door. While your summer intern days may be behind you, if you’re not currently working or have time to do something on the side, project work is a great way to try out an organization or career path while building your experience, credibility, and reputation. This is especially true in the summer, when organizations often bring on short-term help and will have more time to show you the ropes.
Not sure how to find projects? As you’re networking, mention that you are open to project work and ask your connections if there are any short-term needs at their organizations. Once you’ve identified a problem you could solve for an organization, pitch them a short-term project idea. You’ll build valuable experience and connections that could lead to a full-time role, and you’ll gain references and experience that you can talk about in your search. Pro-tip: make sure you clearly define the scope and length of the project before diving in, and ensure you will have enough time to keep your other search activities going on the side.
4. You’re building a foundation for the fall. September will be here before you know it, and hiring always picks up in the fall. You want to be ready for that wave, and the best way to do that is by preparing now. This means making sure your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile are as strong as they can possibly be and ensuring that you are top of mind with the organizations you’re most interested in (see #1 above). Even if they aren’t hiring now, continuing to network will ensure that you are the first person they think about when they are ready to move forward. Bonus: by keeping your momentum going over the summer, you’ll have a serious advantage over job seekers who wait until the fall to get started.
To sum up, don’t use the fact that hiring can be a bit slower during the summer as an excuse to slack off on your search. Put your energy in the right places and you’ll make the most out of this time while still having plenty of summer fun on the side.
Ready to get a head start on your social impact job search? Join us this summer for the structure, support, and accountability you need to get results!