Summer Job Search MythsBy Christiane Soto, Snelling.com

Summer – time of pools, picnics and parades.  The scent of sunblock and bar-b-ques and chlorinated water fills the air.  These are the three months of the year when people begin to focus on their personal lives in the form of vacations, staycations, summer school breaks and general family time.

If you are a job hunter, you may think that this is most certainly the time to abandon your search and pick it back up in the fall, right?  After all, most companies scale their hiring back as their workers take vacation or time off, correct?

Summer Slowdown

Incorrect… and welcome to the 1st big myth about the summer job search.  The season should never dictate the amount of effort you put into your job search.  If you need a job, do not stop just because the mercury reaches 90 degrees. Companies fill positions at the same rate during the summer as they do during the other months of the year.

It is true that many companies experience their “slow period” during the summer and encourage their employees to use their vacation and PTO time.  However, this “slow period” can work to your advantage as hiring managers have more time to invest in the hiring process.

Now, this does not mean that scheduling issues are not a problem; they definitely can be.  Week-long vacations, as well as long weekends, can play cause havoc with interviews, causing you as the candidate to

  • return multiple times to interview with multiple people
  • spend hours at a time interviewing with many different people because schedules line up perfectly on one particular day

So, whereas the scheduling of the actual interview(s) might be a little tricky, once you have your “foot in the door” (so to speak), the hiring manager will have more time to spend with you.

Other Myths

The myth of a “summer slow-down” is the big myth of the summer job hunt.  However, let’s look at 3 more reasons why you should keep your job search alive during June, July and August.

Networking Opportunities Do Exist – Neighborhood bar-b-ques/get-togethers, weddings, movie nights at the park, city-sponsored parades and festivals…..many different kinds of social events happen in the summertime.  Stay active and involved, because you will never know where your next connection will come from.  In addition, focus on your skillset. If you need to brush up, take a summer class.  Summer classes are usually much more condensed than their fall or spring semester counterparts, are in air-conditioned rooms, and provide wonderful, quality networking opportunities.

Transitions Happen – Companies need to manage their workforce all year round.  Employees quit during the summer –especially if they have children – to make any move or transition as easy as possible.  Transfers also occur during this time for many of the same reasons.  Whenever someone quits or is moved around an organization, an opportunity is created – one that you can leverage.  If you stop your job search, you will miss some of these opportunities.

Temporary and Contract positions do exist– Many companies will bring on contract and temporary employees during the summer months in order to cover vacations and other types of absences.  These assignments could last all summer, and they  could lead to a full-time opportunity if you manage the situation properly.

The number one rule in any job search is “do not quit”.  When you quit, you miss opportunities, and without opportunities you will never find a new position/career/job.  It is tempting to abandon your job search during the summer and spend time at the lake, a beach or a neighborhood pool.  However, keep your eye on the prize, and keep working.  Because so many myths exist around the idea that companies stop hiring, many people do drop out.  Look at it this way…when people drop out, that makes the competition less fierce and you a better chance to shine…much like the summer sun.

NOTE:  A full-color, downloadable PDF is available.  

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