Guys, this one involves cocktails.
-by Jaclyn Westlake, Founder of The Job Hop
Isn’t summer the best? Seriously, what’s not to love about the smell of sunscreen, packed social schedules, frosty beverages, and your boss taking that three-week long vacay? Ah, this season really is the coolest.
Except for that whole summer job search thing. We have to admit, it’s super tempting to put your search on hold until fall rolls in. Plus, no one’s really hiring right now anyway, right?
We know it can be challenging to stay motivated this time of year, but summer is more than just sun tans and BBQs – it’s actually a great time of year to find a new job! (And we happen to know of more than a few awesome companies that are hiring right now). Here are six great ways to heat up your summer job search without breaking a sweat.
#1 Take it Outside
Isn’t everything more fun in the sun? Whether you’re freshening up your resume by the pool or running through interview questions with your besties at the park, there’s no rule that says you can’t stay on top of your job search while enjoying the awesome summer weather. So, grab your laptop and head to your favorite beach for some outdoor job hunting – just don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and a Wi-Fi hotspot!
#2 Network Poolside
Make the most of your jam-packed summer schedule by chatting up fellow BBQ guests or poolside sun worshippers about your career ambitions – you never know who you’ll run into (or who they’re connected to)! Don’t be shy about revealing that you’re in the market for a new job, asking if they know of anybody who is looking for someone with your dazzling skill set, or mentioning that you’d love to get an in at [insert dream employer here].
And of course, all the usual networking rules apply – keep it professional and don’t forget to follow-up with everyone you meet on LinkedIn or via email. Growing your circle at summery social gatherings can be fun, but it’s still work!
#3 Take Advantage of Your Competition’s Out of Office Time
Sure, hiring may slow down a bit over the summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to! While your competition sips piña coladas on some remote beach, you can be making moves. Get proactive about following-up with recruiters or jumping on fresh job postings as soon as they go live. With fewer job seekers actively searching over the summer, your fabulous resume or tailored introductory LinkedIn connection request has even more of a chance to stand out from the crowd.
#4 Use Your Vacay Experience to Stand Out
Did you just get back from a life-changing trip or do a little volunteer work while you were away? Make your resume or cover letter stands out by incorporating your recent experience. You can start your cover letter with something fun or attention-grabbing, like “Backpacking across South America was exciting, but that was nothing compared to the thrill I get every time I finish creating a new spreadsheet!”
Your travel experience and philanthropic endeavors also make great talking points during an interview. These experiences can serve to illustrate a time you overcame a challenge (like being alone in a foreign country where you didn’t speak the language), saw things from a different perspective or adapted to a radically different environment.
#5 Get Super Organized
All of that outdoorsy job searching and poolside networking will inevitably start to pay off – so make sure you’re ready! Get your resume in tip-top shape, practice your answers to challenging interview questions, or work on putting together the perfect interview outfit. Having your act together will make responding to a last-minute meeting request a breeze. Need some extra help getting prepped? Jessica’s got you covered.
If you’re feeling a little unmotivated, try creating a job search schedule for yourself. Carve out a couple of hours a week to browse job boards, draft networking emails, or practice your elevator pitch. Being consistent about your job search and networking strategy will not only help you to be more productive, but it’ll likely generate more results.
#6 Reward Yourself
Summer is supposed to be fun, so don’t get too wrapped up in your job search. It’s OK to take a break and treat yourself, too. Try creating a fun reward system, like granting yourself an hour by the pool for every five applications you submit or networking emails you send. Better yet, whip up a refreshing Maven Mojito to celebrate landing an interview or finally getting your resume up to date.
The Maven Mojito
1 large pitcher
1 bunch mint (and a few sprigs for garnish)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 lime, quartered
½ jalapeño, seeded and diced
3 C watermelon, cubed (plus extra for garnish)
1 C white rum
2 cans Lime LaCroix
Plenty of ice!
Strip mint leaves from stems and toss into the bottom of the pitcher. Add 2 Tbsp sugar and the diced jalapeño. Squeeze juice from all lime quarters, then muddle lime quarters, juice, jalapeño, mint, and sugar together in the pitcher. Add 1 C watermelon and continue to muddle until well mixed. Add ice and 1 C watermelon in layers to the top of the pitcher. In a blender, add remaining C of watermelon cubes and ½ can LaCroix; blend until liquid. Pour rum, watermelon liquid, and remaining LaCroix to pitcher in that order. Stir slightly to combine. To serve, pour Maven Mojito over full cup of ice and garnish with mint sprigs and watermelon cubes. Serves up to 8 … or a very happy 4!
Just because we’re in the midst of the lazy days of summer doesn’t mean you should slack off on your job search. Summer can actually be a great time of year to land your next job – and have a little fun in the process! All it takes is a little creativity (pool + interview prep + Maven Mojitos = new gig) and a commitment to stay on track, and you’ll cruise into fall with a shiny new job to go along with that tan.