Use Summer Downtime as Your Job Search Advantage
Thoughts of summer typically conjures up visions of sunshine, swimming, hikes and vacations with family and/or friends. I hope your summer meets all of these expectations. Once we get into August we start thinking of the ‘dog-days’ of summer. For many that gives way to a more relaxed environment at work and home, but for those of you considering a career change, or getting your career started, the summer months are prime time to prepare for your job search.
Summer is not a peak hiring time – anywhere. It tends to be when corporate America takes vacation time. Work environments typically go into maintenance mode, rather than expansion mode.
Summer is, however, a great time to get yourself prepared for an increase in fall hiring.
Two of my major career changes started in late-August.
It seems to be the time employers return to work and start filling their company vacancies in preparation for a busy fall.
In the USA, the number of job openings increased to 6.2 million on the last business day of June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
In Canada, the number of job vacancies rose by +17.5% from the first quarter of 2016 to 388,000 in the first quarter of 2017. Six of the 10 provinces and territories are showing an increase in job vacancies. Led by Ontario and Quebec, this increase also includes Alberta for the first time in a couple of years.
This is great news for anyone preparing to start their career this fall.
My advice to recent graduates and career changers – ‘enjoy the summer’ (It’s my favorite time of year), and use it to be prepared for your fall hire. Here are some things you can do in your down time this summer to be properly prepared for a fall hire:
1 – explore your true strengths, discover what success really means to you. Consider an online training program to prepare your career and success mindset. Prepare yourself with your go-to response to “So you’ve graduated, now what?” … Through this online training you will get everyone networking for you this summer.
2 – retool your resume and cover letter.
3 – make sure your LinkedIn Profile is up to date and professional looking. (you are welcomed to check out my LinkedIn Profile)
4 – practise your interview skills. Prepare your ‘stories’ or ‘examples’ to answer the basic Behavioral interview Questions.
5 – reconnect with your references and personal network.
6 – if you are considering a career in business, how about updating your Excel spreadsheet skills? Or advance your skills in some other technical area.
7 – something that helps you from a personal development perspective:
(a) How about a free 3-part video series “How To Launch A Career You Will Love!” … VISIT “What’s Next Graduate”
Most of all, enjoy your summer. If you are in-between careers right now it may be difficult to think about enjoying the time off, but take it from me, your full-time career opportunity will come. Enjoy the time you have off now. Use some of your time to properly prepare for your next employment opportunity, but also allow yourself some guilt-free time to enjoy the summer and time off with family and friends. If you do a little planning (on the rainy or cloudy days), you can equally enjoy some well deserved time off. After all, summers are too short – enjoy while you can! Fall will soon be here and you will soon be working full time! Cheers!!
Deborah Clarke is a personal and career development authority expert serving university and college educated job seekers and entrepreneurs.
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