Summer is a great time for slowing down the pace, catching up with friends, and getting plenty of rest and relaxation. But it’s also a great time to turn up the heat on your new job search. If you’ve been thinking of changing roles or companies, don’t wait until after vacation season; you never know where and when you’ll find the perfect opportunity, says Penny Queller, senior vice president and general manager of Enterprise Talent Solutions for Monster.
“Job searching should be an always-on process,” she says. “The summer months are no exception. In fact, summertime might be exactly the right time to search—even though it may feel like your co-workers are in vacation mode and you want to leave the office at 5 p.m. on the dot.”
In June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 213,000 jobs were added, beating out economists’ estimates of about 195,000, says Queller. “For job-seekers, it’s important to note which industries experienced the most job growth—healthcare and IT are always close to the top of the list—as there is a real need in these fields,” she says.
Instead of waiting until the fall, consider these three reasons why summer is the best time to look for a new job:
Business slows down
Summer is typically slower for businesses, and fewer projects means more time to focus on initiatives such as hiring, says Kurt Heikkinen, president and CEO of Montage, a recruiting technology provider.
“Job-seekers might finally break through the noise and snag an open position at that company they’ve been eyeing for a while,” he says. “And the candidates themselves will find themselves with more time than usual on their hands at their current jobs, leaving them with ample time to spend on their search for another role at a different company.”
A slower summer opens the door for a wider variety of candidates, adds Janelle Bieler, vice president at Adecco Staffing. “With fewer meetings populating schedules and end-of-year planning still months away, hiring managers may have more time to sort through applications, conduct interviews, and fill open positions,” she says. “They may also have more bandwidth to take a closer look at nontraditional candidates, like a stay-at-home parent seeking to return to work.”
You’ll have less competition
Summer is a job-seeker’s market because there are fewer seekers, says Steve Frank, managing director of client delivery for ManpowerGroup. “With a lot of candidates putting their searches on hold due to vacations and other commitments, the candidate pool is significantly reduced during the summer months,” he says. “Many employers may be willing to take a chance on someone who has the aptitude to learn, as opposed to busier times, when a surplus of talent means the job-seeker must possess the perfect trade skills to be considered for the job.”
Think as a job search as a competitive event, says Jeff Zinser, managing partner at Right Recruiting, an executive search firm. “You are entering the game when many of your competitors are on vacation or otherwise engaged,” he says. “Companies see fewer candidates during the summer so that your background has a better chance of standing out.”
You may encounter a more casual approach
Summer can also be a more casual time at many organizations, and that can trickle over into the interview process, says Patty Coffey, partner at talent acquisition firm WinterWyman. “As a job seeker, you can take advantage of this reality to build your network by setting up meetings and informational interviews,” she says. “People who are usually too busy may have time for a casual lunch meeting or after-work drinks during the summer.”
The slower pace does come with a disadvantage, Coffey adds. “The interview and hiring process can slow down a bit, and it may take longer to schedule interviews because of people’s vacation schedules,” she says. “To set yourself up for success and move the process along as quickly as possible, do your best to be available and try not to add your own vacation into the mix.”
Zinser agrees: “Summer job searches allow you to get a foot in the door but sometimes can require patience on the candidate’s part, as things unfold slowly,” he says.
While it’s likely more people take vacations throughout the summer, if you are the right fit, the process should move along for you, says Queller. “So, be patient and persistent,” she says. “If the process doesn’t move as fast as you’d like for one job, know there are a lot of others out there, and you should keep your options open, while being determined in your own job hunt.”