The busiest times of the year for hiring and typically February through early June, and late August through Thanksgiving.
This is largely due to the fact that hiring budgets run annually for most companies, starting fresh in January and culminating in December (sometimes with funds to spare – which can work in your favor!). June, July, and early/mid August, as well December into January, typically see slower hiring rates, as summer and winter vacations often make it difficult to coordinate the multiple parties involved in the interview and hiring process. Additionally, these are often times where billings can be slow for the companies themselves as a ripple effect of their own clients’ businesses slowing in off-peak times.
And perhaps you used the summer slowdown as an opportunity to position yourself for the upcoming busy season – researching your top prospects, getting your resume and materials in order, practicing your elevator pitch in front of the mirror. But now we’re one week away from September, and it’s your best time of not only the remainder of the year, but the next six months in general, to get back in (and ahead of) the game.
So what does this mean for you, dear job seekers and career changers?
Get Your Resume In Order, Stat!
The resume is the cornerstone of your search, and you can’t make much headway without one. So if you haven’t optimized that oh-so-important document, revive it from your hard drive and get on it (or get someone to get on it for you). This is typically a time when resume writers and career coaches start to book up quickly, so if you’re considering working with someone to fine-tune your personal branding portfolio, now is the time to reach out and explore the option.
Run a QA on Your Digital Presence
Take the time to comb through your online portfolios, your social media presence, and closely examine the message you’re putting out there about yourself. Is there a clearly branded theme that denotes your expertise and professional interests? Or just a bunch of content with no particular connection? Social media is a powerful tool, so utilize it to your best advantage. Need help?
Start Attacking Your Top Prospect List. If You Don’t Have One, Create One Now.
You probably have some idea of who your “dream companies” are, the prospects whom you identify with on particular levels, and can see yourself loving the opportunity to work for. Figure out who is on that top 10 list; keep an eye regularly on their website, LinkedIn company page, social media profiles, and anywhere else you might potentially hear of job openings. Think ahead about how you might tailor your resume and cover letter to speak to and appeal to those organizations.
Setup Google Alerts
Put your opportunity radar on full force, and keep a close eye on what’s opening up, and where the opportunities are arising. Google alerts is a great way to do this with minimal effort and maximum return, so you’re tuned into the latest goings-on even in the off-hours.
Polish Up Your LinkedIn Profile
Don’t be that person who sets up their profile once and never looks at it again. It’s a piece of your personal brand portfolio, and needs to be updated in the meticulous fashion that you update your resume (just not for every job, clearly). Make sure your profile communicates the latest skill sets and areas of expertise that you want hiring managers to come in contact with, that your branding message around who you are and what you bring to the table is clear, and that it’s geared towards your target audience. Then take it to the next level by joining a few groups, and starting a conversation to generate visibility.
Without fail year over year, our busiest months for recruiting revenues were in the Fall, September into December, and that was largely due to people we put to work in late August into November. While hiring budgets and waves can fluctuate from year to year, you put yourself at a distinct advantage by recognizing the trends and taking the best possible action to position yourself to stand out, to get noticed, and get hired!