The unofficial start of summer kicks off with Memorial Day Weekend. College seniors around the nation have graduated in the last couple of weeks and are looking ahead towards their future. For some, this means graduate school and for others this means entering the “real world.” If you’ve recently graduated but don’t know what the next step is, you are likely going to be searching for your first “real job” this summer.
With the temperature warming up, so too should your job search. A common misconception is that companies cut back on their hiring in the summer, but that is not the case. Instead, companies are filling positions at the same rate, if not quicker pace than other times of the year. Due to the fact that people take summer vacations, the hiring process might be more drawn out. As a result, having patience is key when job searching over the summer months.
If you have recently graduated and are looking for your first job or have yet to graduate but are looking for a summer internship, it might feel like an uphill battle at times. As mentioned before, the key to job searching during the summer (and really any other time) is patience. If you’re not convinced, here are a few tips to guide your search this summer.
Focus Your Search
Depending on your major and career interests, your search might be either very specific or very broad. If you were an accounting major, for example, chances are you’re searching for entry-level accounting jobs either with a firm or as an in-house accountant at a company. On the other end of the spectrum, if you were a communications major, there are many different roles you can search for including, but not limited to: corporate communications, broadcasting, marketing, public relations and event planning.
You must ask yourself what you are truly interested in and narrow your search to those industries. Then you can pick a handful of companies in said industries and apply to them. By focusing your search, you are taking the job seeking process and making it simpler and less overwhelming. In addition, having fewer companies of interest means you can do more research on them so you’re prepared for an interview.
Tap Into Your Existing Network Of Friends And Family
If you haven’t created a LinkedIn account during undergrad, now is the time to do so! Finding connections (former classmates and supervisors, professors, etc.) can be a form of networking and a conversation starter. Additionally, you can connect with family members and friends to make them aware of your job search. You never know when one connection will know someone who is hiring. You can ask them for an informational interview to learn more about their industry and role, which is especially helpful if you don’t exactly know what you want to do. Even if the connection might not be in the position to hire you, someone in their network might be, so taking the initiative to reach out and ask for a meeting is a great first step.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
A great piece of advice is to “ask for what you want because the worst thing they can say is ‘no.’” This certainly pertains to the job search. Is there someone in your industry that you want to connect with? Shoot them a message on LinkedIn and ask to set up a brief introductory phone call to pick their brain. People generally want to help others, especially when they reach out directly, and love talking about themselves. While you don’t have to directly ask for a job, asking for any advice or if they know any opportunities might be easier. After all, if you don’t ask you’ll never know the answer.
The job search is a process. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule and some people apply to one job and are offered employment, but generally it turns into a numbers game. How do you stand out among the crowd of job seekers? While you might be the most experienced candidate, based on the amount of applications your resume might get lost in the shuffle. Often times the candidates who stand out are the most persistent.
While you should be persistent in the job search, there is a fine line between being persistent and annoying. How do you tip-toe this line? Establish a consistent form of communication with the hiring manger. Sending one email on the same day each week should be okay, but sending multiple emails a day becomes annoying. Find the right balance and remain persistent.
For recent college graduates, summer is a welcomed respite from the work put in during a college career. While it might be tempting to take a few months off and avoid the “real world,” the job search will happen sooner than later so why not face it head on? With these tips, and a few more from Glenn Leibowitz (read the full article here), your hard work can pay off with securing a job this summer!