7 Ways to Turn Up the Heat on Your Job Search

 

Don’t take a vacation from your job search simply because it’s summer. By acting against the myth of a summer slowdown, you can heat up your job search and scorch the competition! You may be surprised to find that there is often less competition because the rest of the pack is acting on the outdated assumption that companies don’t hire in the summer. Follow these tips to put some sizzle in your summer job search.

1. Don’t Let Vacation Mentality Sabotage Your Search

A job search is daunting and summer is a traditional time for vacations or time away with families. However, if you succumb to temptation and set your job search aside, you will lose valuable momentum and are likely to miss opportunities. Job seekers tend to follow a traditional academic schedule and put their efforts in full force in the fall. Getting a jump on the competition by maintaining a steady effort over the summer puts your name at the top of the list for interviews now.

2. Don’t Miss Important Calls

With mobile devices, you can still make yourself available even if you do take a few days away from home base. Just remember to be professional when answering your phone and get in the habit of excusing yourself from the fun to take those important calls. You can continue your phone and email follow-ups from the road and get right back into your job search schedule upon your return.

3. Business as Usual

Recruiters and hiring managers continue to operate on typical business schedules during the summer months. Though scheduling interviews may be more complicated because of staff and search committee vacations, the timing may actually work to your advantage. Hiring decisions may be made more quickly than at other times of the year as staffers scramble to complete deadlines before their summer break. Hiring in the summer often contributes to an efficient business cycle by allowing training time before a busy fall season.

4. Attend Seasonal Community Activities

Summer is a prime time for festivals, fairs, and other types of community events. Attend as many of these as you can to network and spread the word about your job search. The casual nature of these events often gives you the opportunity to approach important hiring contacts that may be less accessible at other times of the year. Be prepared with a business card in your pocket and your updated resume ready to be sent out. You may even use these casual contacts to build a network of like-minded job seekers for support and sharing information about available job leads.

5. Update Your Resume and Online Profile

If your job search has slowed, summer is a great time to revamp your resume by removing older entries and adding industry keywords that highlight your strengths and make your resume pop during electronic scanning. Be certain to post the updated version of your resume to websites. If you notice any skill gaps during your resume review, summer is a great time to build skills with a workshop, training, or independent study. Classes and workshops also offer great networking opportunities.

6. No Shirt, No Shoes, No Interview

Summertime is not an open invitation for flip flops, khakis, or bermuda shorts. Regardless of the heat outside, be professional! Don’t blow an interview by being too casual. Pull out your best professional wardrobe for an interview or when dropping off your resume. Make the same choices for professional attire when interviewing via Skype as well.

7. Stay Current

Maintain subscriptions to online sites to remain abreast of the latest job openings as well as company expansions in your region or industry. Although the competition may seem fierce online, many of those likely candidates may be unable to attend an interview. Your diligent monitoring of varied sites will put you at the top of the interview list because of your qualifications and availability.

Update your resume, expand your network, and maintain your momentum by staying consistent with the job search. Heat up your chances of landing an interview during the final days of summer while the competition takes a vacation!

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Adding Pleasure to Your Business Trip

IB Analyst, New York, NY
Advertising Copywriter, Atlanta, GA
Analyst, Washington, DC
Strategy Consultant, SF Bay Area
Fund Accountant, New York, NY

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Oftentimes, the people who travel most for work are ironically the ones who have the most difficult time finding time to travel for personal purposes.  Perhaps it’s hard to find a good chunk of time to get away; or maybe the typical hassle that comes with airports and hotels is the last thing they want to deal with on their time off.  Whether or not this is the case, adding a little pleasure to a business trip can make constant traveling a lot more bearable.  And now that it’s summer and vacation is on everyone’s mind, a strategically planned business trip might actually double into that quick getaway you’ve been yearning for.  Here are some tips for spicing up those trips meant solely for work:

Plan Ahead

It’s hard to take advantage of what a new city has to offer if you’re doing it at the last minute.  However, if you do some research before your trip and figure out when you will have some spare time, you can plan to do a little sightseeing or fine dining on your own.  Not to mention, you’ll be more likely to stick with your plans if you think them through beforehand.

Spice up the Client Meetings

Wining and dining your clients is an expense that usually falls on your company’s tab, which is really nice.  But how many salmon dinners or rounds of golf can you take?  Try to plan some more interesting outings or explore unique restaurants in the area, so long as they allow you to maintain a professional environment.  Consider asking those local clients for suggestions on what they might like to do.

Squeeze in an Extra Day

Consider showing up a day beforehand or leaving a day after, especially if your business trip falls near a weekend.  It’s definitely possible to squeeze in personal activities between meetings, but it’s a lot less stressful if you have a day to yourself.  If you decide to do this, make sure to inform your boss of your plans, and to show him or her that you will be keeping business and personal expenses separate.

Bring Along Your Significant Other

Maybe your significant other has the flexibility and willingness to travel with you and spend time with you when you aren’t stuck in meetings.  If so, you can turn parts of your business trip into a small getaway, and explore the city and some nice restaurants together.  Again, be sure to keep your personal expenses separate, and to stay focused on work when you need to be. 

Traveling for work doesn’t have to be a drag.  All you need to do is find some creative ways to spend your down time, and a boring business trip can all of a sudden become a fun escape.

Happy traveling,

The Doostang Team

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Doostang News August 23: Some Pointers for Requesting Time Off

Investment Banking Associate , New York, NY
Consultant, Washington, DC
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Requesting time off can feel a tad awkward.  Sure, you’re entitled to a life – but does your employer know that?  Many of us encounter frustration from managers or passive aggressiveness from coworkers when we make mention of our hiatus from the office.  So what’s the best way to slip out for a week or two unscathed?  Read on:

Give Plenty of Notice

While the standard notice for leaving a job is generally two weeks, it’s best to let your boss and coworkers know about an upcoming vacation as far ahead as you can.  Sooner really is better because it gives your peers enough time to digest the news and plan ahead for it.  Doing so will also make your own life easier, as more preparation beforehand will ensure a less messy aftermath when you return.  And really, what’s worse than returning from paradise to an office where all hell has broken loose?

Put Together a Plan

It will also make everyone’s life easier if you put together a plan, including a schedule that your coworkers can follow, important deadlines, and contact information – both for the people others will need to deal with on your behalf, and for you, should any emergencies arise.  The more thorough you are upfront, the fewer frantic calls and emails you’ll have to deal with when you’re miles away.

Don’t Jet During a Busy Time

While it may be tempting to flee the office during one of the busier periods, you’ll probably anger the people you work with if you do.  It’s more considerate to plan a vacation when you know things will be slow around the office, so that others can more easily take over for you.

Don’t Overlap

If possible, gauge when your coworkers might be taking time off, so that you can make sure not to jump ship at the same time.  Worse than missing one valuable employee is missing two – or more – so try to plan your time off strategically.  It may also be helpful to have these discussions with coworkers before you book your getaway, as some bosses may deny you time off if another employee will be gone at the same time.

It’s tempting to take off and leave as little information behind as possible when you’re trying to escape the office.  But some thoughtful planning beforehand will go much farther in ensuring a well-deserved, stress-free break!

Bon voyage!
The Doostang Team

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Doostang News July 5: Give Yourself a Break – How to Avoid Work on Vacation

Financial Analyst, New York, NY
Business Development Professional, Multiple Locations
Venture Capital Associate, San Francisco, CA
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Summer break is finally upon the hordes of schoolchildren and college co-eds.  Hooray for them, right?  Meanwhile, you’re still stuck in the office June through August, missing out on hot, lazy weekdays and prime pool hours.  So when your precious vacation is finally upon you, what are the first things you check to make sure you have?  If you’re like the majority of modern men and women, you’re probably carrying on board a laptop and cell phone that your coworkers can reach you on.  Americans have a penchant for working on vacation, when it’s all things “work” that they’re trying to leave behind.  Here’s some friendly advice for leaving the office for a couple glorious weeks each year:

Delegate Tasks to Others

In the days and weeks leading up to your time off, start making notes of important details, deadlines, and contact information so that you can easily pass off your responsibilities to someone else while you are away.  Start familiarizing those people with the tasks that will be left to them so that the whole office can function smoothly in your absence.

Plan around Busy Periods

If you know you are always busy around a certain time of year, make sure to plan your vacation well in advance of this time or a little ways beyond it.  Similarly, if you have a big deadline to meet, make sure your vacation won’t coincide with it.  A vacation is meant to be stress-free, so don’t travel at a time when your presence in the office is vital.

Set Limits for Yourself

If you absolutely must do work while away, set a reasonable schedule for yourself and stick to it.  Don’t leave all of your contact information while away for the entire office, but instead, leave an emergency phone number for one or two people in case it is imperative that they get ahold of you.  Allot half an hour each day to think about work, and let your coworkers know that you will check in with them instead of having them get in touch with you in a way that interferes with your time off.

You work hard year round…so when you finally get some time off, enjoy yourself.  It’s important that life back at the office doesn’t spiral out of control while you’re away, but it’s equally important that you get some relaxing downtime so that you don’t have a meltdown and complicate office matters on your own.

Bon voyage!

The Doostang Team

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