6 Secrets to Landing a New Job in the Summer
Traditionally, the hiring process has been known to move at a snail's pace during the summer, but it's not entirely impossible to land a new job during this time. Whether you're getting ready to graduate college or make your move to a new location once the kids are on summer break, we have some secrets to help you land the job you want this summer.
1. Start your search early
Since summer is typically viewed as a slower hiring season, starting early is usually a smart strategy. By getting ahead of your target timeframe, you remove pressure and can afford to be more selective about job opportunities. If possible, have a list of top prospects lined up by spring.
- Narrow down industries and potential employers
- Ask yourself which of these organizations would be a good fit for you
- Learn all you can about your top prospects' organizations (i.e. be well-versed in their missions, goals, or other objectives)
If you aren't sure how to get started in your search, think about your preferred work environment and corporate culture preferences. Use these attributes as a jumping off point to focus on during your search.
2. Get your credentials in order
This is pretty standard for any job search, but prep your credentials long before summer arrives so you're ready to go.
- Pull out your resume and polish it up
- Pen a good cover letter that can easily be customized for each employer you've researched
- Prepare to personalize your documents' details to demonstrate to specific employers why you'd be a good fit
- Bolster your LinkedIn profile
- Clean up your social media presence
Once you get moving in your search, people will be searching you out. Be ready to shine.
3. Keep a pulse on job listings
Many employers put out their job listings months ahead of time. This is especially common in areas like Washington D.C. where companies must structure their bids to land government contracts. To compete effectively, they'll need to demonstrate they employ the talent who can fulfill the role. Follow job postings and make note of any summer target dates for jobs of interest. Another thing to keep an eye on is when an organization's fiscal year ends—if it’s in June or September they may go on a mid-year hiring spree.
Tip: Summer appears to be a good search window for recent grads. According to trends, 80 percent of entry-job listings are published by late summer.
4. Always be networking
Networking is something everyone should do year-round. However, if you aren't actively building relationships, spring is the season of cultivation. It's a good time to seed and grow some connections.
- Follow your target organizations on social media
- Attend professional conferences, seminars, or meetups
- Go old school, hit the pavement and pick up the phone
Put yourself out there. As the warmer months arrive and spring fever sets in, many people look for excuses to get out of the office.
5. Strive for referrals
If you're aiming for a summer hire, connecting with potential referrals is a quicker way to get hired. Fifty-five percent of employees hired via referrals are brought on faster. Statistically speaking, referrals tend to stay longer, bring a stronger ROI, and reduce overall employee turnover. It's not surprising employers place a high value on referral programs and largely consider this method to be the best way to hire.
6. Prepare to negotiate
If you start searching too early, a company may want to onboard you sooner than you're ready to begin, and you'll have to negotiate. Be prepared to clarify why you want a summer start date. If you're prepping for graduation or relocating to the area, this will be fairly easy to explain.
While the summer job search isn’t impossible, in some industries it may be harder to get attention. Once summer arrives, a company's focus often turns to product launches or summer vacations. The key to landing a new job in the summer is to be proactive, and put your feelers out early. Ideally, you want to start no later than spring. At this time, employers are still in hiring mode and you want to get on their radars.