Let’s face it. Summer is a tough time to be searching for a job. Your kids are home, the family schedule is erratic, and you’d really like to get away from it for a while. What if you apply and your shot at an interview comes while you are out of town? What if . . . ?
Though your search may slow a bit due to the different pace, recruiters generally agree that it’s a mistake to put your search on hold over the summer. You will thank yourself later if you don’t lose momentum, and who knows? Maybe you will gain more attention in this less-busy season. Here are six things you can do to keep your job search fresh and moving forward.
1. Inventory your interests and skills.
If you are in the early phase of your return-to-work journey, you might still be figuring out what your second-stage career will be. If so, the change in routine that summer offers can be a great opportunity to mine your past experience for what you love (and don’t love) as well as for your dreams and aspirations. Navigating a career change takes both self-reflection and research, and summer is a great time for both.
Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it. – Katharine Elizabeth Whitehorn
2. Tune up your job-search assets.
If you have been searching for a while, or the process of searching has caused some shifts in what you are seeking, summer is a great time for a thorough assessment of your toolkit. Revisit your LinkedIn profile, resume, personal branding, and social media to make sure they communicate a consistent message. Read job descriptions and think about keywords to make sure that job search tools like LinkedIn and Glassdoor are offering up potential matches. And reflect on your storytelling–especially how you position your career pause–to be sure that you are ready to talk with confidence about what you have to offer.
All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You. – Tom Peters in Fast Company
3. Get feedback.
If you are visiting or hosting old friends, consider asking them for feedback on your strengths and weaknesses. Seeing yourself as someone else sees you can give you valuable insight and new ways to talk about what you have to offer in the workplace. A fresh perspective can help you gain confidence and reset your process if you are feeling frustrated or discouraged.
When we make progress and get better at something, it is inherently motivating. In order for people to make progress, they have to get feedback and information on how they’re doing. – Dan Pink
Yes, people often travel in the summer, but people are also less formal. Your social networking opportunities give you the chance to let people know you are looking and to meet valuable new connections.
Networking doesn’t have to be all about talking shop over appetizers and bad chardonnay – do it in a way that works for you. – Kathryn Minshew
Losing momentum can be a vicious cycle. It’s easy to lose confidence if you feel stuck, and your loss of confidence can contribute to inaction. Identify a few jobs of interest and go for it! There is nothing like actually applying to keep improving your cover-letter writing and (hopefully) interview and pitch skills. Learn from your successes and failures, and keep your growth mindset sharp.
This is a wonderful feature of the growth mindset. You don’t have to think you’re already great at something to want to do it and to enjoy doing it. – Carol Dweck
6. Take breaks.
We all know that sometimes stepping back and resetting is just what we need to get a new perspective. Rest and reconnecting to what (and who) you love does wonders for your confidence and helps ensure you are on the right track, rather than running down a blind alley. Make time to unplug, enjoy nature, and pay attention to how you are feeling. We all make better decisions when we are rested and calm.
Rest until you feel like playing, then play until you feel like resting, period. Never do anything else. – Martha Beck
Good luck, and happy summer! And don’t forget, all of the above topics and more are addressed in ReBoot Kickstart, our FREE online job search skill training program. Sign-up today and get started.
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