GUEST COLUMN, by Patty Coffey, Winter, Wyman: Like it or not, the perception that companies cut back hiring during the summer is a myth. In fact, they fill positions at the same — if not an increased — pace during the hottest months of the year.
Job hunting during the summer can be tricky though, and it’s important to avoid two particular hazards: timing and schedules. Because of vacations, trying to schedule interviews can be complicated. An interview process that would typically take three weeks may take five or more. So patience is key. Don’t feel discouraged if the process takes extra time.
Here are seven reasons why you should keep looking between now and Labor Day:
- Summer is a slower season for some industries: Hiring managers may actually have more time to interview candidates because they’re not as busy. For example, accounting firms are busiest in the winter and early spring, so summer is a convenient time for them to build and train their staff.
- The jobs are there: Companies still need to hire even when everyone would rather be at the beach. If you stop searching, you could miss out on good opportunities. And, you miss the chance to take advantage of the fact other job seekers are taking the summer off.
- Contract-to-hire positions are abundant: Many organizations will hire contract employees during the summer to fill extended vacations and sabbaticals. These positions sometimes turn into permanent employment.
- There are unexpected networking opportunities: Summer is a social season, so you can take advantage of golf outings, barbeques and neighborhood get-togethers to network.
- A shortened interview process is possible: Yes, I said the summer can stretch out the interview process. But it can expedite it, too. If the schedules of all involved align, a business can speed up interviews (to even just one day, if you’re particularly lucky) to avoid having to schedule multiple meetings.
- Summer makes for easier transitions: Summertime is typically a less hectic time to transition to a new job. You can get acquainted with the company when fewer people are in the office and things are slower. It can also be less traumatic for your family if a move is involved, since your kids won’t have to switch schools mid-year.
- You can sneak out for interviews more easily: Many companies have a more lax schedule in July and August. Some close early on Fridays while others have more unofficial long weekends. Bosses are often on vacation or may take long lunches, so you’ve got more of a chance to slip away unnoticed. Also, your boss won’t think it’s odd if you take a vacation day or two. (You could even consider taking a “job search vacation” where you conduct a week-long blitz of intense searching and interviewing.)
If you’re serious about finding work, capitalize on both summer’s energy and myth of summer slowdowns by beginning or continuing your search. There are jobs out there – and it’s the tenacious and persistent job hunters who get them.
This column was submitted by Patty Coffey, a partner in the Information Technology Permanent division at Winter, Wyman, focusing on the New England area. www.winterwyman.com.
Originally published July 22, 2011