29 Jun 3 Ways to Avoid the Summer Slump on Your Job Search
Summertime—lounging by the pool, downing popsicles, and finding a new appreciation for yes, air conditioning. And what about looking for a job? The hotter, longer days of the year aren’t necessarily the worst time to be looking for your next position, but it can be demoralizing—pouring through job postings in between hours of updating cover letters and submitting applications.
Your social feed is exploding with photos of family vacations, post-card-perfect sunsets at the beach, and familiar faces enveloped in dreamy, exotic destinations. You can also hit a mental roadblock trying to schedule interviews and waiting to hear back from recruiters when hiring managers and other decision-makers are patching their Outlook calendar with vacation days.
But the surprising truth is summer is a great time to heat up your job search. That’s because while the process may take longer, hiring doesn’t come to a halt or even slow dramatically. Q2 and Q3 can be some of the most active times for hiring, with companies assessing their budgets and areas for growth before the final quarter of the year. In fact, the summer lull can help employers with more time to focus on hiring goals.
This blog covers how you stay motivated and power through your summer job search:
Meet more connections for coffee.
The summer usually means more lax working hours, a.k.a. prime time for coffee or lunch meetups with LinkedIn connections, previous colleagues, or friends-of-friends who “know people”. It’s iced beverage season, and the perfect opportunity to drop connections an email or a text to invite them for a quick coffee break. Whether you’re looking for a professional mentor, or an advocate to connect you with hiring managers, a twenty-minute meetup isn’t a huge ask and it’s less intimidating than going into a formal office setting.
Coffee can lead to so much more. Your connections might know hiring managers who are still putting together their hiring plans. After a brief LinkedIn intro, you have your in to ask if they’re open to meeting for coffee to talk about their business goals and your background.
If they agree to meet up, take it seriously. Even though you’re strolling into a more casual setting, bring your A-game. Dress at least business-casual and come ready with a notepad or laptop to take notes and/or share your portfolio and a copy of your latest resume. Whether or not this meetup results in a position at that manager’s company, (and yes, it can), you now have a face-to-face business relationship with a decision-maker who probably has a deep network of other leaders. And in business, who you know is everything. About half of jobs are never advertised, so networking is a potent superpower.
Use downtime to add to your skillset.
When you find pockets of time, you can access a library of videos on building new skills with LinkedIn Learning—it’s a great way to grow your abilities. You can also settle in with a good book on leadership or find podcasts on your specific line of work. Continuing to build knowledge in your field can give you an edge in interviews and online.
During interviews when asked about strategy, you can bring up evolving best practices and new approaches, explaining that you’ve been staying current with rigorous research throughout your job hunt. That shows you’re proactive and someone who will join the company ready to listen, learn, and continue growing.
You can also show your knowledge with tips in posts on LinkedIn, where recruiters live online, and as a helpful reminder to your network to keep you and your abilities top-of-mind. Even if you’re on a budget, you can watch free videos on professional and leadership development and skillsets in your arena on YouTube, and search and scan blogs to keep learning.
Maintain patience and calm.
I know, it’s easier said than done, but the vetting process for candidates does take longer during the summer while people are using more vacation days. Hearing back from recruiters on the next steps and interview dates can take more time than usual. Don’t take it personally. Even if the recruiter isn’t on vacation, they are working around everyone else’s schedule. Usually, multiple rounds of interviews entail leaders across the business at different levels and mid-level team members who you’d partner with or interface within your role.
So, keep cool, and calm, and carry on—knowing that all job searchers are dealing with the same lag between interviews and responses. It’s O.K. to check in on progress with recruiters, but don’t overload their inbox every other day. Friendly weekly or bi-weekly status updates show you’re interested without being overbearing.
Most importantly, don’t assume the worst just because of gaps in response times. While it’s undeniably anxiety-inducing, it’s normal for everything to take longer in the summer. Don’t assume that employers are stalling or ghosting you. Instead, focus on what you can control, keeping your job search going, beefing up your knowledge and skillset, and scheduling greet-ups with new and existing connections to up your network net worth and build valuable relationships.
And slow-and-steady isn’t always a bad thing. It gives you time to weigh the potential pros and cons of different employers and read up on employer reviews so you can find the right fit for your next gig.
A recruiter can help keep your job search moving.
We are experts in helping you market your achievements, abilities, and experience to hiring managers and in-house Human Resource departments. Staffing Strong serves a vast portfolio of employers hiring for full-time and contract-to-hire roles. Let’s connect. Submit your resume today.
Meet the Author
Evelyn Vega is the Founder and President at Staffing Strong and the Past President of the Phoenix American Marketing Association. Since 1999, she’s made her career about supporting her clients in building meaningful careers and partnering with businesses in finding quality hires. In her free time, Evelyn sits on various advisory boards and enjoys practicing on her drum set!