|NAVIGATING THE SUMMER JOB MARKET
by Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC
Most people believe summer is the worst time to conduct a job search. Between college
students and high school students eating up the market, vacations, lagging budgets,
etc. hiring would seem to lag during the summer making it a bad time to conduct
a job search. In reality, summer is a very good time to job hunt. Here are some
tips to make your summer-time job search more effective:
— Spiff up your telephone skills. With people on vacation, you will be receiving
more voice mail messages than usual as you try to reach people in your job search
network. Always make calls with a notepad or organizer nearby and take note of when
your contacts will be back in the office. Set an email up to be delivered the day
*after* the person’s return and set a reminder to call again the second day after
Make sure you leave a clear, informative voice mail. Make sure you state your name
twice, your telephone number twice, and your message once. Give a good time for
a call-back. The following is a general formula for an effective voice mail.
“Hello <FIRST NAME OF CALLEE>, this is <YOUR NAME>. My number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. I
am calling because <COMPLETE MESSAGE>. The best time to get back in touch with me
is <DAY, TIME, TIME ZONE>. Again, this is <YOUR NAME> and my number is XXX-XXX-XXXX.
Always include your area code with your telephone number. Many times, people cannot
return calls because they are not sure where the caller is calling from. Giving
your time zone helps the recipient of the message know where you are located and
helps them know exactly when to call you back. Speak slowly and clearly, especially
if English is not your native tongue. Spell your name if the spelling is not easily
recognizable. Provide more than one number if possible and repeat both of them twice.
-Take advantage of summer social activities for your search. Most jobs are filled
through word-of-mouth. That means the more people with whom you talk, the more effective
your search. Summertime is chock-full of social activities from picnics to family
reunions to ball games. Make the most of gatherings of people to gather information
for your search and extend your network toward your target companies.
- Volunteer. Summer seems packed with opportunities to volunteer. Volunteering not
only gains additional network contacts for your search but it has many emotional
rewards, too. Looking for a job, especially for those who have been engaged in long
searches (more than 3 months) is emotionally exhausting. The warm fuzzies you receive
from volunteering go a long way toward boosting your mental attitude.
- Be persistent. Since many job seekers slack off in the summer thinking they are
wasting their time, your competition is less. Take advantage of that and redouble
your efforts in your search.