Beaches, piña coladas, ice creams … that’s usually the image that comes to mind when people envisage the summer months, knowing that your out-of-office email message is doing what it’s meant to do and alerting people to the fact that you have very much switched off.
Yet, for many professionals, the summer lull is a prime opportunity to reassess their life, particularly if they are unhappy in their career. Nearly half a million millennials would consider swapping jobs after two years. For numerous reasons, such as salary expectations, working somewhere more ethical, the pursuit of work-life balance and career-ladder climbing, gone are the days where you stayed in the same profession from your first job until your retirement.
The perception that companies cut back – or even stop – recruiting in the summer is a myth. In fact, this time of year is the perfect time to job search, much better than December, which 10 years of hiring data indicates to be the slowest month for recruitment. Here’s why – and how – you can maximise this season to land your dream job.
Business does not stop and nor does recruitment
Depending on the industry, employees in many companies may have more time to recruit in the summer as it’s not always a busy time. For example, the busiest time for accountancy firms is the winter as they rush to meet deadlines for the financial year’s end, so they are more likely to recruit in the summer when more time is available.
Unlike our French neighbours where August is well-known as ‘les vacances’, offices and businesses remain open throughout the summer in the UK – and that includes recruitment. Having the misperception that companies don’t recruit in the summer can jeopardise some great opportunities. You should hope, however, that others do fall victim to the summer-slowdown myth – the fewer CVs in that pile, the better your chances will be to have yours sitting on top!
Interviewers, too, have the “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” attitude
Summer is the most relaxed time of the year for even the most corporate of cultures. This can translate to the interview process and, as a job seeker, it can be an opportunity to build your network by setting up meetings and informal interviews. Prospective employers may also have more time to have casual lunch meetings or catch-up coffees during the summer. Networking and industry events also continue right through the summer, but with various people on annual leave, so make sure you make the most of attending when it’s less crowded and getting your foot in the door with the right people.
‘Temp’ jobs equate to opportunities
If you are currently a student or looking for a job, the summer is a time when many people are away, so companies need cover or additional support. Getting work experience or temporary work can be a great way to get a foot in the door and make a lasting first impression.
Tips for the perfect summer job hunt…
Keep an updated CV on your mobile phone
Don’t wait until the perfect job pops up on your laptop. Updating your CV quarterly will ensure you are always ready to react to the perfect job advert. Bonus tip: Keep a CV template handy, which can easily be customised to your specific job.
Evolve your skills on an ongoing basis
You must be continuously on the look-out to upgrade your skills in order to advance your career. Take a certification course to increase your marketability, look at training in new skills or perhaps sign up for an online masters course.
Summer may seem like a difficult time to get a job when the out-of-office emails keep bouncing back at you. However, persevere and remember to schedule time during the summer to practice your interview techniques and refresh your CV.
Seize the best of summer and dive into the jobs pool — as well as that swimming pool on the French Riviera!