Ah! The warmer weather is finally here, kids are out of school and the longer days mean more time lounging and relaxing ... unless you're in a job search. Many of you transition out of the military in the spring and might consider the summer months to be less than ideal for your job search.
Not true! Employers hire throughout the year. In the same way someone can land a great job between Christmas and New Year's Day, so can you during the summer.
To job search during the summer, follow these tips:
Increase your networking. Use the nice weather to get outside and, when they're available, attend social and business events in your community, area of interest and industry. Job fairs, networking events, seminars and similar meetings are great places to meet people who could assist you in your job search.
Set up informational interviews. Use these months to safely meet with people who are in the jobs you're pursuing. Ask them about their work, career path, challenges and opportunities. Informational interviews are for information gathering purposes, and you should not pitch yourself as a job applicant during the meeting.
Be patient. For some hiring managers and recruiters, the summer months are when they slow down, take vacations, or focus on tackling more strategic projects with their team, as they get ready for budget season in the fall. If they are slow to respond to your application, or update you on the interview process, show patience.
Increase your learning. Summer is a great time to spend more time researching your target employers, learning what they hire for, how they live their mission and vision, how their competitors position against them and where their companies are going in the next five to 10 years. You can also use the summer months to increase your skills, training and certifications by taking online classes or pursuing classes in your field at the community college level.
Get healthy. Why not spend some time getting in good physical shape, purging your diet of bad habits and focusing (physically and emotionally) on being ready for the new chapter of your life and career? Spend time with family and loved ones to stabilize your support network so you're ready to go when the interviewer calls!
Clean up your social media profiles. Across all of your platforms and profiles, strive for a personal brand that shows consistency, clarity, confidence and competency. Remove any post, photo or tag that does not support your desired reputation. Make yourself attractive to potential employers.
Create content to position yourself as a subject matter expert (SME). Post articles to LinkedIn (not just updates) to share your perspective, tips or insight into trends or events in your community or industry. Consider blogging or writing short white papers on topics within your area of expertise and send them to key contacts. Content differentiates you from the masses.
Ensure you have all the necessary assets. Make sure you have what you'll need for a successful job search, including professional-looking business cards, a modular resume that can be customized to each job opening you apply to, online social networking profiles that highlight your value and a solid and memorable elevator pitch.
Refine your messaging. As noted above, you'll need a concise and compelling way of introducing yourself (elevator pitch) that highlights your skills, passions and offer to your future employer. Be sure your messaging clarifies the problems you can solve, who cares about those problems and the value to the company if you solve those problems.
Think about the big picture. Take advantage of good weather, lots of sunshine and longer days to dream about your future: Where do you see yourself in five years? What kind of lifestyle do you want? What does success mean to you? What are you most passionate about in life?
Use the summer months to launch or level-up your job search with strategy and intention. Don't let these critical months slip away. If you start your job search in the fall, you'll run into challenges around the end-of-the-year holidays and lose critical time.
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