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 Hot Summer Job Search Tips

By Joe Stein

We are now past Memorial Day weekend and the “unofficial” start of summer, so the time is right to review some items to consider when in a job search this season. The main key to remember is to stay focused on your search amidst all the distractions of summer.
·        Regular Attire Applies – It is very easy to fall into the trap of having bad interview attire habits during the warmer season of summer. Short skirts, “spaghetti” strapped tops, and flip flops are on the “no” list for females when interviewing for most jobs. The males do not get a pass either, as sleeveless muscle shirts, running shorts, beat-up sneakers are also a “no”.
·        Don’t Assume No One Is Interviewing – It is incorrect to assume that everyone is on vacation and, therefore, not hiring. If anything, the many years of business “right sizing” have caused summer to be “business as usual”, especially for members of Management. It may take a bit longer to navigate through interviews during the summer due to some vacations, but a little patience will serve you quite well. Consider this - if your competition for the position has the misguided perception that nothing will happen until September, you may just find yourself with a competitive advantage. Many projects launch into full gear in the Fall as the rush is on to finish before year-end; this will often cause some summer hiring in order to ensure readiness.
·        Network – Western New York has so many great outdoor events that allow us to enjoy the summer season. Take advantage of any situation where you run into a former co-worker or an old friend, to briefly explain that you are on the job market and inquire regarding any leads. Not only is this a great opportunity to catch up with some old acquaintances, but you may just discover that job opportunity you have been hoping for. Don’t forget- any type of event, even summer weddings and family reunions, may be a great venue for job leads.
·        Explore Traditional Summer Jobs – If you are currently unemployed, it is in your best interest to find employment, even if it is short-term or transitional. It is much easier to explain having a few short-term jobs, than one long absence. The summer often opens up some seasonal type positions, either as a vacation fill-in or an outdoor type job (ex. landscaping, or home improvement). Don’t forget to check-in with your local Temporary Agencies, as they can assist you in finding a short-term position quickly. You may just find that this temporary position is the “foot in the door” you need to land a regular position.
·        Build Your Resume – If you are a teenager (or a parent of one) it is important to note that any job will assist you in the future when you are seeking work in your field. Regardless of whether it is collecting supermarket carts, working at an amusement park, or filing papers - all will help you down the road. Employers like to see someone who did not just take “summer vacations” when they were younger, but had the initiative and work ethic to seek employment.
·        Stay Connected – In the summer, you may naturally tend to be outside and away from the phone more than during the winter. Make sure you can be reached by a Recruiter or Hiring Manager in multiple different ways, whether by a landline, mobile phone, or e-mail. When you do leave the house for an extended period of time, try to check your home messages so you don’t delay receiving a very important call. 
·        Keep a Schedule – It is very easy to fall into a summer schedule lull. The longer daylight may create opportunities to stay up very late and sleep in. This can be done on occasion, but as a regular part of your schedule, it can easily disrupt your ability to connect with employers in your job search. When you are sitting outside and enjoying the sunshine, consider taking the newspaper or a news magazine with you to read, because staying current with events can be quite helpful in interview small talk.
·        Volunteer – There are numerous volunteer opportunities available during the summer. Volunteering at a summer event for a non-profit not only will make you feel good and help a good cause, but can also be a great networking opportunity and look great on your application.
By all means, enjoy summer in WNY. It is a wonderful time of the year and it is important enjoy the season. If you are seeking a position, however, the summer is not the time to take a few months off for a “vacation”. A savvy Job Seeker continues to work hard in their Job Search, balancing outdoor leisure activities with pursuing open positions.
As always, best of luck in your job search.