The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

August 09, 2016

Start Planning Your Job Search Now—or “Fall” Behind


With summer’s unofficial end, Labor Day, just around the corner, many professionals have their sights set on securing new employment in the fall.

This happens annually for a number of reasons. For one, there’s a mutual lack of availability right now; job-seeking professionals and hiring managers alike use the summer for extensive vacation time. Additionally, as Accounting & Finance Recruiter Gary Glassman suggests, the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day permits shorter working hours—something closer to 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM—and professionals do not want to sacrifice the comfortable work-life balance of a familiar job. And, when the bustle of fall finally does come around, employees are inspired to re-energize themselves and seek new professional challenges.

Conveniently, many employers reactivate hiring in early fall because they want to take advantage of their firm’s remaining recruitment budgets before the year’s expiration. “Many realize they must hire before January or they risk losing allocated funds for new employees. They also want to get new recruits in before the holiday season mindset takes hold in November,” explains Kathleen Brady, a career coach in New York City.

If you aim to land a job in the fall—before the holiday season—now is undoubtedly the best time to get started! While hiring activity directly with employers will remain somewhat stagnant until early September, the next four weeks will serve as excellent preparation time. Here is a five-party strategy to make the most of summer’s final month.

Reflect on Recent Accomplishments

When did you last recap your recent professional wins? Assuming you are new to the market, look back at your current position to review your successes. Hopefully, you have been keeping a log of accomplishments. If not, your email, documents, and calendar will reveal clues, allowing you to work backward and dig for specific quantifiers, like money and time.

Refresh Your Resume

With a defined list of accomplishments out of the way, you can move onto the easier parts of your resume: responsibilities, professional summary, and awards, if applicable. Remember: accomplishments serve as the foundation of the document, while all other content supports them. They are what set you apart from your competitors vying for similar positions.

LinkedIn: Update Your Profile, but Don’t Stop There

Using the aforementioned resume updates, make modifications to your LinkedIn profile as needed. Beyond sprucing up your public profile, some back-end work is also helpful. For example, LinkedIn is rolling out a new feature in beta that allows candidates to confidentially declare themselves “open to new opportunities” to Premium Recruiter users outside of the candidate’s current company.

Develop a Comprehensive Job Change Story

A productive job seeker has a solid answer to the question “Why are you looking to leave?” to frame the move in the context of their career at large. The best answer to this question is that you are looking for new challenges, more learning opportunities, or similar—without bashing your current employer.  Again, here is where your accomplishments come into play. They will serve as evidence for what you can bring to the table.

Put Yourself Out There

Home stretch! Now you just have to get out there and network. As summer continues, you’ll have more free time and more social opportunities than you would normally. Though your closest friends might not know of any connections, their friends might. Best of all, this is a wonderful time to make contact with an agency recruiter. While hiring activity remains on the slow side, you can establish a strong relationship with a recruiter and take your time in the search process together.

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