We've all been there...getting ready to hit the beach and you look at the clock. 2pm...You're good. It's late enough to go without sunscreen, right? I make this mistake every summer. Twice. At least. I'm not sure why I can't remember it and I constantly make the same mistake. You think you don't have to prepare and BAM...Lobster Face. Then you're "That Guy" at dinner. You know who I'm talking about. Beat red face, struggling to smile, let alone eat. Some sort of gross aloe sheen to your face. It's kind of funny until you realize you don't want to look at him while eating. Then it's sad for everyone. Put some sunscreen on...don't ruin everyone's dinner. Don't get burnt.
I'm not going to sugarcoat it. It's not easy looking for a job. It's particularly difficult in the summer for several reasons. People are going on vacation. Everyone around you is happy. But not you. You're hunched in front of the computer, trying to find a job. I get it...that job isn't going to find itself. I'm not saying don't look in the summer. But adjust your expectations accordingly. Otherwise you are just going to burn yourself out.
Searching in the summer isn't ideal. It's when employees typically go on vacation. You might be excited when you see a job listing that is a dead-on match. But days go by, then a week...no response. It's nothing personal. That person is probably out on vacation. Or thinking about their vacation next week. Or just got back from vacation and isn't ready to use their brain yet. I know people like this. The actual vacation may be one week, but they are basically useless at work for 3 weeks. So don't stress yourself out. Try to be patient. And if you meet with a recruiter in the summer, ask them about their plans. Pretend we are actually human, fake a smile, and politely ask if we are doing anything this summer. And if we say we are going on vacation, ask if there is anyone else at the office they should meet or get to know as well.
So what SHOULD you be doing with this extra time in the summer? It's not like you can just push pause on the search, right? Stay productive and lay the groundwork for when the hiring picks back up.
Get organized. If you don't have one already, create a datasheet to keep track of your submissions, as well as who you are waiting to hear back from as a result of networking efforts. Follow ups are key, and when you are frantically looking for work, things may get lost. Did you send that firm a resume? Did they get back to you? Who was it that was supposed to get back you about that job in their department?
Looking for work? Do it outside. At least get some fresh air. Will it help you get a job? No. Not at all. But fresh air is better for your mind and body. Sanity is good. You want to be sane for when you actually do get an interview.
Talk to people. Actually talk to people. Doesn't have to be networking. You don't have to try to get something out of it. Just talk to people. Talk to your connections on LinkedIn. Go out to lunch with former co-workers. Sure, it can be "networking" technically, but don't lose that human element of interaction just because you don't go to work. Again, sanity is good. Catch up with old references or potential new references. Get them excited to help you out as a reference. This way you are fresh in their head when future potential employers call them.
Work on your LinkedIn profile. Find some new contacts. Delete some old ones. Take part in some discussions. Like a post or two. Write an article about your job search. Get social. Activity breeds activity. You never know who you will connect with.
If you are consumed with finding a new job, don't forget to take care of yourself. Your physical condition directly affects your mental condition and your emotions. If you know me, you know I am IN PEAK PHYSICAL CONDITION. Which explains why my mental state is CLEAR and I am emotionally STABLE. In no way am I easily CONFUSED or described as a MENTAL WRECK. You know how I do it? I go to the gym. *deep breath* I have a gym membership. It's basically the same as going to the gym right? But hit the gym, go for walks, do something to get some exercise.
Get started on that personal website, blog, or portfolio. You have a resume. Great. Everyone has a resume. You are literally everyone. How can you stand out? Check out Strikingly, About.me, or even a free Wix page. Get creative. Let people know how awesome you are. Tell your story. Resumes can tell your professional story. Let a website show people who you are. If anything, it can get your creative juices flowing, get your mind working, and focused on an interest other than job applications.
No one says its easy to look for a job. But at least try to recognize the circumstances in the summer so you don't get burnt out. Who knows, you might even be able to relax and have a little fun...try to take it easy.
If you have any questions about anything I discussed in the above article, looking for a job and/or working with a recruiter, just ask! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for making last week's article "Gettin' Social - LinkedIn Connec ... er ... Friends" a featured article on RecruitingBlogs https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/gettin-social-linkedin-connec-er-fri...
For more about me or my firm, please visit www.karpiakconsulting.com or www.linkedin.com/in/akarpiak I am always looking to network with good professionals that share my values in recruiting, so shoot me an invite if you agree with me!
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I am also featuring a Candidate Of The Day. If you are interested in being featured in one of my daily LinkedIn posts, shoot me the following info in an email (I've created a Gmail account to stay organized: DailyJobCandidate@gmail.com) with the subject: Daily Job Candidate. Tell me your desired position, industry, and geographic area. This way my entire network of recruiters and networkers could see if they could help out the candidate in any way with leads or point them to someone else that might be able to help. Just by reading the post, people in my network would be able to:
1) Reach out to the candidate directly if they think they can help them.
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3) Tag a person in the post's comments that may be able to help the person.