Summer Searching: Slow Down or Throwdown?

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The sun is shining, the beaches are crowded and everyone is sporting a tan; summer 2012 is in full swing. But have you delayed or abandoned your job search for the season, figuring that nobody is hiring during the summer and that all those worth networking with are away on vacation? While many job seekers become a little frustrated this time of year when summer vacations seem to slow or in some cases stall the hiring process in the financial industry, there are plenty of good reasons not to be discouraged.

Contrary to popular opinion, summer is an opportune time for companies to select talent. Many financial businesses are busiest in winter and spring, making summer a great time to build and train their staff. Interviewers are less pressed for time, and contract-to-hire positions become more abundant during summer, too, as many organizations bring in contract employees to fill in for people on vacation or for people who have leaves of absence or sabbaticals that coincide with summer. These temporary positions often turn into permanent jobs.

Today’s hiring trends—particularly for professional and business services—are up in all 50 states, and in all of the 100 metropolitan areas according to a leading workforce adviser. In fact, for the first time since 2008, there have been two consecutive quarters of labor market improvement in all 13 industries and across all regions. And, of the 18,000 employers polled, 21 percent said that they expect to hire more workers during the third quarter, up from 18 percent during the three months ending June.

You are the ant

The dog days of summer present a golden opportunity for companies who do not take a break from their talent procurement process. While your fellow grasshoppers are taking it slow during the summer, enjoying their own time off in a slower pace, assuming, falsely, that summer is a dead season for hiring, you are hard at work, continuing to knock on every door and make every introduction you can in order to secure your next position. Of course, even the firms that aggressively hire year-round will have key players in the procedure who take time off, so you may have to be a little more patient than usual as an interview process that would normally take three weeks may stretch out to five weeks or even longer.

For people who already have jobs and are seeking new ones, summer is ideal. With shortened workdays on Fridays and unofficial long weekends, it can be easier to get out of the office, too. And August is a great time to schedule your own job search vacation, where you make use of some random vacation days to conduct a focused attack on your behalf.

But whether you are already in the middle of a painfully slow interview process, or are just planning your own September assault on the job market, the slower-paced “lazy summer” days provide you with plenty of advantages. Good luck!

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