by Yolanda M. Owens
Oh, the lure of summer! Back yard barbecues, beach parties, and outdoor happy hours are the perfect summer settings for finding love; especially if you’re in the market for a new employer. Whether the boy-next-door or the business down the street, summer is the season for everything relaxed. So take advantage of casual dress codes, summer hours, and company picnics to scope out new employer prospects.
So how do you mix summer fun and sun in your employment search? Here are a few tips to go along with your SPF 30…
Get Referred. That’s right, get someone to refer you. Employee referrals take top priority with recruiters when interviewing potential candidates. Couple that with slower markets during
the summer seasons and you have a winning combination. Many companies and employment agencies use the summer to promote their employee referral programs and can offer referrers upwards of $5K for candidates they refer that get interviewed or hired. So scroll through your rolodex and bring your resume along with your killer potato salad to the next cookout and see where the summer takes you.
Party with a Purpose. Summer is the perfect time for meeting and greeting. Use your charms to be a plus one at company picnics, professional organizations, class reunions and alumni networking events. Get your name out there and get a sense of the hiring climate while chilling by the pool. You never know what opportunities could be waiting poolside so be prepared to dive in when they do!
Be an Accidental Tourist. If your job search is open to relocation, consider planning your summer vacation in a place you may want to move to. Ask your friends for contacts they may have in the area or contact your alma mater’s alumni association or career center and get a list of area alums. Then contact them and set up meet and greets or mini reunions over
coffee/happy hour. You can also play the tourist card and sneak in an informational interview while taking in the sites with your contacts. Not only will you get the insider view of your potential new home/employer, you’ll stroke the contact’s ego by giving him/her the opportunity to show off what they love about their city.
Capture the Moment. Follow up can be a little awkward in ordinary networking scenarios. But summer makes it easier and much more creative with casual settings, sunsets and a little help from technology. Take a camera with you to networking events and capture some Kodak moments. Then forward the pictures with a “pleasure meeting you…” email. By sharing summer memories you’ll keep your name filed away in their mental rolodex for future opportunities and have your own memory book of people you want to stay connected with.