For Job Hunters: 3 Simple Ways to Stay Relevant During the Summer Doldrums

Aug. 23, 2018

Sara Garlick Lundberg

Job hunting can be anxiety inducing, especially during the hot and oft-slow summer months, but these last weeks are a great time to boost and recharge your hunt. Read on for three quick tips to help make the most of your days leading up to Labor Day:


Take this sometimes-slow period to reflect on what has and hasn’t worked in your job hunt. Is your resume not yielding the responses you thought it would? Are you not making it beyond the first round?

Be honest with yourself: think about the pain points in your job hunt and sit with a trusted contact (people who have been successful in your space, former colleagues, those whose advice you trust) and ask for their feedback. Ask about their own experiences as well. You’ll be surprised by their stories – successes, false starts and all.


Next, identify three simple ways to incorporate what you’ve learned and pivot. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a long list of things you need to change – in fact keeping the list short will force you to prioritize the most important changes you need to make. It can be anything from changing how you’re framing your prior professional successes in interviews, or whether the positions you’re pursuing are a fit given your long-term goals, to when or if you should be sending thank you notes to those interviewing you.


This suggestion comes last for a reason: you’ll be a stronger networker once you’ve reflected on your search and have refined your approach. People who have a clear sense of what they want, and who seek out input as to how to get there, are more attractive than those with less clarity.

At this time of the year, making progress on interviews for senior-level positions may be slow. Members and key decision makers are often on vacation and decisions can be delayed. Don’t let the lack of speed get to you because you aren’t the only person wishing for more activity. This is actually a great time to reach out for ‘networking coffees’.

Take this time to reach out to a handful of contacts (former mentor or bosses, trailblazers in your field, friends you view as particularly successful).  Offer to take them out for coffee so that you can seek their advice on trends in the industry, what they look for in a hire, and how you can make yourself relevant and attractive against other candidates.

Finally, don’t lose traction on your actual search. Contrary to what some say, summer can be a great time to job hunt. More on that here

Summer isn’t a time to lose traction. While others check out, reflect and refresh and you’ll be on stronger footing as you put yourself out there.


#jobhunt #summersearch #nonprofitsearch #leadershiphunt