Fall is prime hiring time, so these months are the perfect time for job seekers to kick their job searches into high gear. Hiring managers are focused in the year-end stretch, aiming to build their teams for the new year. Departments might also want to use their hiring budgets before their year closes out. Hiring activity sometimes slows down during the holiday season, so here are four valuable pointers for making the most of fall opportunities:
1. Attend a Job Fair
A job fair is a productive – and efficient - way to meet contacts from many companies at once. Colleges usually hold fall career fairs and some open their job fairs up to alumni, so be sure to check out your alma mater’s career center. You can also search for local career events that are open to all professionals. Like any other interview or networking event, prepare for your visit by perfecting your elevator pitch, doing your research on the companies you want to talk to, and sharpening your resume.
2. Boost Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is THE social network for professionals, employed or not. Fill out your profile completely. Join LinkedIn groups to grow your network and connect with recruiters and hiring managers. Make sure your profile picture looks professional; you can either hire someone to take your headshot or have a friend take one of you dressed in business attire. Make your summary work for you by telling a professional story that paints a picture of yourself. Use keywords throughout to make yourself searchable. Add specific skills and expertise in the skills section. All of these tips will help you get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers.
3. Invite a Networking Contact to Coffee
Build and maintain your network with coffee talks. Set up informational interviews with contacts you've met while networking, or invite a former colleague to join you and reconnect over industry news and life topics. Either way, make your conversation just that: a conversation. Ask for tips on how to be successful in your industry. Explore how your contact got to where he or she is today. Putting yourself out there and letting your network know you’re looking for a job will increase your chances of getting noticed by the right people. The best way to land your dream job is to become someone's internal referral!
4. Shop End of Season Sales
Prep your interview wardrobe with pieces from end-of-summer sales. Women can find shells or tanks on sale that can be layered under blazers or suit jackets. Men may find lighter weight suits on sale that can transition into winter. Stores are closing out their fall season to make room for holiday merchandise, so take advantage of it.
Fall is also a perfect time to harvest temporary employment opportunities. Companies often need temporary help to help complete projects by the year-end. Adding temporary/contract work into your career mix can help you make valuable connections and build new skills.
How is your search going this fall? What is working best for you?