I don’t recommend slacking off on your job search during the summer for several reasons. Companies are still hiring. Most recruiters and hiring managers are still available even if they’re on vacation. And the competition isn’t as fierce.
Still, with all the distractions —kids off from school, long weekends, and, if we’re lucky, maybe a week away—many people do put their job search on hold until the fall.
If that sounds like you, it’s time to start getting ready to beat the summer-is-over rush.
1. Get Business Cards
If you don’t already have them, now is the time to order some business cards. You’ll need them when business networking events come back from hiatus. You can use them at career fairs and job interviews. They will come in handy when you run into a former colleague at the grocery store.
Business cards don’t need to be complex or expensive. The important things to include are your name, your contact information (email and phone), and a blurb about you. The blurb might be a title—Sales Professional, Digital Marketing Director, Accountant/CPA, etc.
You may choose to include a descriptive tag line like, Leveraging search and social media to generate revenue, or use the back of the business card to list your core strengths. The key is to create a business card that will help people remember who you are.
2. Work On Your Resume
If you haven’t updated your resume in six years, or even in the last six months, now is the time to get going. Writing a winning resume that focuses on your skills and achievements takes time. No matter how great a writer you are, it always takes longer than you think it will.
Spend several hours thinking about your last few positions. What did you do to save time, save money, make money, etc. for your current and past employers? What makes you stand out? Why should a potential employer hire you?
Feeling stuck? If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, pick up a copy of Resume Magic: Trade Secrets of a Professional Resume Writer by Susan Britton Whitcomb. It’s a valuable tool that will help guide you through the resume writing process.
3. Enroll In A Class
Improving your skills or learning something new is always a good idea. Never better than when you’re looking for a new job. For one thing, candidates investing in professional development are more attractive than those who are not.
Many towns, cities and community colleges have summer courses. You may still have time to brush up on your Excel skills this summer, if not look for something in the fall. Know you need some help with your presentation skills? Visit your local Toastmasters club to see if it’s a good fit for you. There is no fee to attend your first meeting as a guest.
What better way to address that inevitable “what is your greatest weakness?” question than to discuss the course you’re taking to improve yourself.
For those who haven’t slacked off on their job search this summer: Good for you!!! If you’ve put your job search on hold until the fall, it’s time to get going. In a few short weeks, September will be here.
About the author
Annette Richmond is a Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW) and former recruiter. She has written articles for career-intelligence and other sites including TalentCulture, 85Broads, LinkedIn and Forbes Woman. Her career management advice has been featured in many media outlets including Business Insider, Vault.com, Monster.com, and The Wall Street Journal. Annette also regularly contributes to a number of weekly career-related chats on Twitter. Check out her resume writing and career services here.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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