When you’re looking for a job or hoping to gain new clients, it’s easy to lose momentum during the summer months. Maybe it seems like every potential client or hiring manager you contact is out of the office. If they’re all at the pool, hey, why shouldn’t you be there too? While there are plenty of good reasons to take a vacation this summer, shutting down your search until autumn isn’t a good idea either.
Anybody can procrastinate; it takes a dedicated go-getter to keep going and keep getting when everyone else is taking a break to soak up the sun. “Summer is no time for job seekers to be trading in their business suits for swimsuits or their briefcases for beach bags,” says Ford R. Myers, career coach, speaker and author of Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring (John Wiley & Sons, 2009). “Summer is the perfect time for career advancement.”
According to Myers, there are several things professionals should do (or continue to do) during the summer months in order to come out ahead by the time the college football season begins. Among them:
- Build (or maintain) your online image. Whether you prefer LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube or Facebook, you need an online presence. When an employer or potential client Googles you, you want to be sure that the online identity they find is the one you’d like to present to them. “Carefully monitor the ‘personal brand’ you’re building on the Internet,” Myers says.
- Update your career toolkit. If you’re using only your resume to aid you in your job search, you’re overlooking a whole arsenal of other tools. Myers says other documents you should have in your “career toolkit” include accomplishment stories, positioning statement, a one-page biography, target company list, contact list, professional references, letters of recommendation, and more. These items will not just help you land the next job, but will also maximize your long-term career success.
- Start your networking engine. Whether you’re at the neighborhood pool or a backyard barbecue, summertime can be a great time to make new connections and find new opportunities. “There are many summer networking events, planning meetings and social activities going on,” Myers says. And after you’ve worked the crowd, don’t forget to follow up with those who seem like promising leads—or whom you may be able to help in some way. (Remember, successful networking is a two-way street.) “In many cases, people who are at work during the heat of the summer will not only be available for conversation, but will be grateful just to speak to someone,” Myers says.
What are your tips for keeping your search for a new job or a new client going strong during the summer months?