Now that summer is here, both new graduates and current students wanting to work over break are fine-tuning their resumes and updating their job-hunting skills. It’s also a time when seasoned professionals think about changing companies or locations.
Unfortunately, summertime may not the best time of year to look for a job. Many companies spend their human resources budget before the summer hits—and some hiring managers and recruiters no longer actively search for candidates during the hottest months.
On the other hand, some job seekers tend to take a vacation from their job searches in the summer. That’s exactly why it could be the perfect time for you to heat up your job-search efforts – you’ll have less competition. You just may have to search harder and network more frequently.
We checked in with a few successful business leaders to ask what qualities they deem most important in landing a new job during a slow time of year.
John Timpson, chairman of the high-street services provider, Timpson, says your degree should help you get job interviews, but the most important qualifications are “personality, confidence, flair and a natural ability to get on with other people.”
Look for jobs that give you experience in how the business makes its money, says Timpson. Being in a backroom role might seem attractive, but if you want to be an entrepreneur, get your experience on the front line.
Timpson’s father advised him to be busy, look for things to do, and make your own opportunities.
“He was right,” Timpson adds. “I’ve noticed that people who combine personality with enthusiasm get the most interesting jobs.”
Connecting enthusiastic people with winning opportunities is one of Bobby Genovese’s greatest passions. A natural people connector with an engaging personality, Genovese understands the value of mutually beneficial, peer-to-peer networking before the word was even coined.
At age 25 he founded his first company in his native Ontario before establishing BG Capital Group Limited and BG Capital Management Corporation, both based in Barbados, with associate management offices in the Bahamas, Florida, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver.
These days, Genovese is focused on helping others achieve their own dreams by offering up advice from his past experiences. “I believe one should give back what they’ve received, or in a sense, pay it forward.
“Mentoring has never been more important,” he adds. “A mentor can help you navigate the path of your profession; they push you to take risks and can advocate for you when you’re not there.”
Martin Yate, CPC and a New York Times bestseller of job search and career management books, also stresses the value of intelligent enthusiasm. “In a tightly run job race,” says Yate, “when the two top candidates have equal qualifications, the job offer will always go to the most intelligently enthusiastic candidate.”
Yate says the ways to express intelligent enthusiasm is by enthusiastically discussing the real issues of your work. Have examples ready that show your engagement in the way you prevent problems and solve problems that are typical in your field.
“You also express intelligent enthusiasm by asking questions about the problems this new job will typically dump on your desk every week, and both how this hiring manager likes them handled, and the problems s/he has in getting them handled that way,” Yate adds.
Show enthusiasm for your work, your profession, and even for the interview itself. It just might be the tiebreaker that delivers your ideal job—even during summer doldrums.