Oh sweet, sweet summertime. Chances are, it’s a time of year when your social schedule is packed. But, your professional life? Well, that seems a little slow.
The office is quieter than usual, thanks to the various vacations your colleagues have planned. Your meetings often get moved from a stuffy conference room to a sunny outdoor patio at a local coffee shop. Your to-do list gets abandoned a little early on Friday afternoon in favor of escaping your desk and enjoying the weather.
For reasons just like those, many people operate with the assumption that summer is an awful time to job search—they think that companies put a pause on hiring for those warmer months.
But, is that actually true? Should you put your hunt for a new position on hold until the fall rolls around?
I connected with Jennifer Faris, a Senior Recruiter with Vanguard, to get the lowdown, answer those questions, and debunk some of those common myths you’ve heard about job searching during the summer.
Does Hiring Really Slow Down in the Summer?
The short answer: Absolutely not.
“The truth is that recruiters and hiring managers do not get their summers off, and companies do not stop their operations,” explains Faris, “Summer is a great time for a job search.”
While Faris admits that there are a few positions that follow a specific recruiting cycle that will cause certain months to be more fruitful than others, that doesn’t mean that you should plan to abandon your job hunt until fall rolls around.
So right now is as good of time as any to continue looking for your next role. In fact, if the following four reasons are any evidence, this could actually be the best time to keep your search moving.
1. There’s Less Competition
Just think: If everybody automatically assumes it’s an awful time to apply for an open position, you’ll have less people tossing their hats into the ring during that time. And, when standing out from the sea of competition can be a huge challenge to overcome, the less resumes you have in that pile, the better your chances will be!
In reality, 10 years of hiring data indicated that December was actually the slowest month for hiring. But, one of the best months to apply for a job? June—a summer month.
So, go ahead and keep tailoring your resume and polishing your cover letter—even when you think everyone else is taking a break. While they’re planning their next vacations, you’ll be planning your next career move.
2. Hiring Managers Are Often Less Busy
Yes, you’re bound to encounter a few out-of-office emails from hiring managers (hey, they’re entitled to vacations too!). But, during their normal working hours? They’re often less busy—leaving them more time to sort through applicants.
“Many candidates can benefit from summer hiring, as the hiring managers they are meeting with are not heavily involved in year-end related projects or tax season,” shares Faris.
The less that hiring manager has on his plate means the more time and attention he can give to filling any open positions—meaning your application stands a better chance of being reviewed somewhat promptly (rather than being consistently pushed to the back burner).
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3. You’ll Have an Easier Time Asking for Time Off
You’re always excited to land an interview for a job you’re interested in. But, it doesn’t take long for the panic to set in—how will you explain your absence to your boss, without raising any red flags?
“Candidates may have an easier time requesting time off to interview, as summer PTO is expected and common,” Faris advises.
Continuing your job search now means you’ll be able to cut out in the middle of a weekday afternoon—without setting off any alarms, weaving a tangled web of lies, or relying on that age-old dentist excuse.
4. Networking Contacts Are More Willing to Meet
From informational interviews to informal coffee chats, your network will be a huge asset to you when you’re job searching.
The good news? People are often looking for any sort of excuse to get out of the office during the summer—especially in August, when everything feels extra slow.
So, your request to get together with a new acquaintance or an old colleague will feel less like a burden or a hassle and more like a welcomed opportunity—which means you’ll have a much easier time forging some relationships and expanding your web of professional connections.
Think summer is a notoriously slow time to find a new job? Think again. Even the experts say it’s as good of time as any to continue your search.
“Hiring managers are looking for top talent now,” concludes Faris, “If they have any opening, they do not wait to hire.”
So, rather than taking a hiatus, continue to dedicate yourself to the process (hey, this comprehensive guide can help!) so that your career can heat up right along with the weather.
Photo of person job searching outside courtesy of Petar Chernaev/Getty Images.
Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, self-development, and the freelance life. In addition to writing for The Muse, she's also the Career Editor for The Everygirl, a columnist for Inc., and a contributor all over the web. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her rescued terrier mutt or continuing her search for the perfect taco. Say hi on Twitter @kat_boogaard or check out her website.More from this Author