For most people, summer's the perfect time to relax, take a vacation and operate at a more leisurely pace than during the rest of the year. But if you're a job-seeker, you can't afford to put your search on the back burner. Instead, use the slower pace and longer days to your advantage.
First and foremost, do your research, says Piera Palazzolo, senior vice president of marketing at Dale Carnegie Training. "Candidates can never do too much research on prospective job opportunities and companies they may be interested in working for," says Palazzolo.
"Individuals on the job hunt, especially those that may be new to the job search process, should take advantage of summer break by reading articles, browsing the Internet, and looking at social media and LinkedIn, in order to get a better sense of the different opportunities and companies out there," Palazzolo says.
Be Visible on Social Media
One of the biggest challenges in today's job market is remaining visible to potential employers, and social media is one of the best ways to help candidates maintain visibility. If you can't interview in person or network face-to-face with contacts, spend your time on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and even Twitter, says Jayne Mattson, senior vice president, Keystone Associates, a career management and transition services consulting firm.
"Job searching during the summer, especially these days, is an advantage for candidates," says Mattson. "While it's a busy time of year and folks are taking lots of vacation time, understanding and using social media appropriately will enable you to keep in touch with current contacts and build up your online social contacts, when face-to-face networking is less of an option.
A recent Jobvite survey shows that 94 percent of companies used social media to recruit and hire new workers in 2013 by using specific social media channels to vet job candidates. LinkedIn was most popular (94 percent used the site to vet job candidates) followed by Facebook (65 percent) and Twitter (55 percent), according to the survey. Companies also said in the survey that they use LinkedIn to determine 'professional experience' and 'specific hard skills' while Facebook and Twitter are used to evaluate 'cultural fit' and 'industry-related posts' and knowledge
Mattson encourages her clients to actively participate on sites like LinkedIn, and to post industry-related articles, make connections with potential employers and do research on companies.
"LinkedIn, for instance, is intended to be interactive. Most job seekers don't take advantage of that as a way to become a thought leader on specific topics, to make connections, and try to convert these online interactions into phone calls and then in-person interviews," she says. "I encourage my clients to post articles that showcase their knowledge about their industry as well as letting connections and potential employers know they're still in the job market," she says.
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