Hiring is cyclical. Traditionally, the peak hiring seasons are mid-winter (January and February) and fall (September and October). The slowest hiring seasons are the summer months, June through August, and of course, the holiday months of November and December.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t land a job in November or July, but it does mean that if you’re looking for a new opportunity, it’s wise to be as prepared as possible for peak seasons when more recruiters and managers will be viewing your resume and making hiring decisions.
Four Ways to Prepare for Peak Hiring Months
1. Update Your Online Profiles. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile highlights your key strengths and experience and includes your career objectives. Update your prior experience with an emphasis on skills relevant to the type of position you are seeking now. Make sure to highlight your soft skills, such as collaboration, teamwork and communications skills. With regard to Facebook, Twitter and other social sites, take a look at all of the content associated with you and eliminate anything that an employer would deem unprofessional (you may want to stay away from political comments).
2. Update Your Resume. Even if the information on your resume is current, you want to make sure that it does a good job of selling you for the position you are currently seeking. List any new certifications or experience, check your references to make sure they are current and update the summary or objectives paragraph to fit the job descriptions for positions that interest you.
3. Contact Your References. Don’t assume the references you used in your last job search are still available. Today, many employers and recruiters use email to check references and ask the contacts to fill out a form. This takes more effort than answering questions by phone. Check back with these people to make sure their contact information is good, and they are still willing and available to provide a positive reference.
4. Network. Many professional organizations have holiday events, and this is a great time to expand your network in a relaxed atmosphere. Remember the point of networking is not to hand out business cards or tell people about your job search. Instead, meet as many interesting people as possible and ask for their contact information, so you can reach out to them about your job search after the first of the year.