Summer is one of the best seasons for job-seekers. While common wisdom says that vacations and a slower pace mean a difficult time finding a job, I strongly disagree. The only better time for a job search is the winter holidays! When the vast majority of job seekers are waiting for autumn (or the end of those holidays), there are fewer candidates applying for open positions. This means it’s easier to get noticed and make a great impression. Why lie on the beach with all the other vacationing candidates when you can kick your job search into high gear and grow your career?
Here’s a quick list of what to do this spring to be ready for that summer job search season. If you’re even considering a career move, these are important tasks to finish before you begin sending resumes, calling recruiters, and interviewing!
- Prepare your paperwork. While most resumes are now submitted online, you’ll need to update your resume with your most current achievements and make sure it’s readable by ATS software. Prepare personal business cards with your field of expertise and contact information that does not include your current work phone, work email, or company website unless it is your own business. You risk making a bad first impression when you job search using your employer’s email.
- Curate your social media. Make sure your LinkedIn profile matches what you have put on your new resume, discrepancies look careless or dishonest. Use a professional (or professional-looking) and current photo for your profile pictures. Remove unprofessional details, concerning photos, and begin a regular schedule of posts relevant to your field of expertise. These can be as simple as recommending links for interesting articles on your industry, or as personal and complex as a discussion or opinion of an issue common to your field. You may want to separate your personal social media from your professional, too.
- Prepare for interviews. Practice your elevator pitch for smooth introductions, gather examples for those tricky behavioural interview questions, and consider how to answer questions about why you’re leaving your current position. Know your resume, so you can speak to your job history, too!
- Write out your STAR stories. The act of writing these successes into a brief, powerful, and positive narrative of growth and achievement will leave you able to talk about them even on a moment’s notice. It’s great preparation for those unexpected opportunities!
- Prepare your network. Ramp up your attendance at networking events, bring your business cards, and remember to add value to those relationships by offering news, advice, and helping others connect with open positions, too. Networking is a two-way street!