Traditionally, the fall is a great time to look for a job. Everyone is back from vacation and committed to working hard through the holidays, and since companies have a strong sense their budgets and where they stand regarding year-end goals, they’re often looking to bring in new personnel.
How should jobseekers take advantage of this timeframe and maximize their chances of getting hired? In a terrific Money story titled “4 Tips to Jump Start Your Fall Job Search,” writer Caroline Ceniza-Levine shares tips for getting the ball rolling. Her first piece of advice: “savor the summer.” What this means is using the end of the season as an excuse to reconnect with networking contacts and folks you lost touch with over the summer. Drop ’em a line and ask how their vacations went, and if there are working parents in your professional orbit, send along articles filled with back-to-school tips.
Next, Ceniza-Levine suggests you “sync up your schedules.” Whether you’re a parent suddenly balancing work and academic demands or you simply belong to organizations (clubs, community service groups, etc.) that have taken the summer off, you’re likely a whole lot busier all of a sudden. Make sure you plan your time wisely and leave a minimum of five to 10 hours per week for the job-search process.
“If you overbook now, it won’t get done,” Ceniza-Levine writes. “You will not magically find the time.”
Ceniza-Levine’s third tip is about looking even further into the future. “Schedule backwards from Thanksgiving,” she advises, and this is handy advice since companies tend to curtail hiring around the holidays. If there are companies you know you want to meet with by November, start networking your way toward interviews, and definitely take time to update your LinkedIn profile. If you’re still undecided about what your next career move should be, Ceniza-Levine suggests taking some time to read up on companies and industries and really think about your interests and talents. Once you have an idea of where you’re headed, you can begin networking your way there.
And because there’s no time like the present, Ceniza-Levine’s final tip is to “start now.” The sooner you begin networking and experimenting with different ways to meet people and cultivate relationships — and these range from being active on social media to cold calling your target companies — the more time you’ll have to make something happen. Good luck!