Archive for September, 2012

10 Keys for Job Seeking During the Fall Busy Season

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

The fall busy season is upon us; with Labor Day over, many professionals are already beginning to feel the strain as their workload increases, and we might have to wait all the way until Thanksgiving before things begin to calm down again.

During this stressful time, if you’ve already missed the summer months for one reason or another, you might figure that there really isn’t any time for your job search. Ferrying the kids to and from school, performance reviews coming up, KPIs to meet, tax deadlines, and a host of other concerns likely seem far more pressing.

However, this is actually one of the best times of the year to find a new career. Everyone is back from the summer holidays and companies are often in desperate need of staff (just as in the spring) and their need is your gain. Timing is key, however; the longer you wait, the greater the competition; and the closer you get to November and December, the more likely the next holiday lull will break your momentum.

So rather than letting this crucial transitional period between summer and fall pass you by, here are some tips for how a busy job seeker can take advantage of this critical season for their search without risking their current job:

1. Develop a Plan: With so much going on, it doesn’t pay to get into this without thinking things through first. Not having a strategy mapped out clearly in advance could lead to a disaster, such as your current employer learning too soon that you’re looking for a new job.

2. Investigate the Job Search Process: There are plenty of articles online (and career coaching is available as well) if you want to go beyond the simple hunt and peck style of submitting resumes and cover letters to online job boards and company websites. Better strategies exist so learn more about the hiring process to see how you can improve your chances by skipping ahead in line.

3. Choose Your References Now: Don’t wait until your prospective employer is already asking for them to rush out and find some. Get your network of close associates involved and aware as soon as possible. Determine who among your former colleagues or supervisors would be best suited and be sure to let them know that someone may be contacting them.

4. Utilize Social Media: I’m sure you’ve heard about using Social Media in your job search a hundred times already. But with less time available to network in person, connecting via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or other online venues is a key time-saver. Just remember: Facebook friends aren’t always your real friends and companies often monitor social media sites for their employees to check up on them so you have to be discreet.

5. Check Yourself: Similarly, as everyone knows that employers frequently use the internet to research potential candidates and current employees, make sure that you remove any inappropriate items whenever possible and keep your online presence professional and tidy.

6. Only Search for Jobs on Your Own Time: If you are currently employed, then you should not be utilizing company property or company time conducting your job search. Not only is it wrong to waste company time, but many companies monitor computer activity, which may inadvertently reveal your intentions to leave.

7. Conduct Research: Investigate the websites of companies you are interested in to learn details about their financials, corporate mission, products, services, etc.

8. Blog: While having a blog isn’t likely to assist in finding potential employers, having one might help employers find you. Take an active interest in your chosen discipline by writing about it, researching it, and presenting it on your blog. This can lead to opportunities for networking, lure potential companies into your orbit, or maybe even impress your current boss.

9. Update Your Resume: You may need to jump on a potential opportunity quickly so make sure you have an updated resume on hand (not the one from two years ago). If you don’t have time to update it, then hire an expert.

10. Stay Positive: Uncovering new employment opportunities can be difficult (especially when you are going the “passive search” route), so don’t make it harder on yourself by becoming pessimistic. Remain upbeat, and if things aren’t going well, take some time off from your search.

Don’t wait until you’re under a pile of paper! Get to work on your career today.