The Myth of the Summer Hiring Slowdown

Last Updated Jun 3, 2011 8:52 AM EDT

We've all heard it -- hiring slows in summer. And it sure can seem that way, when every other email is immediately responded to with an "Out Of Office" reply. But just because decision-makers aren't in the office five days a week doesn't mean hiring choices aren't being made.

Here's why the summer slowdown is a myth -- and why you might be crippling your job search and career if you buy into it.

Interviews Are Still Being Scheduled Yes, vacation schedules (including yours!) may make scheduling meetings a bit of a mess. But patience is not only a virtue, it's a career tool: "While the logistics with hiring take more time, the employer needs are still there," says Frank Dadah, Partner and General Manager of Winter, Wyman Financial Contracting, a career consulting firm.

In Fact, A Slow Period Can Mean More Hiring Yes, some hiring managers may go on a short seasonal hiatus. But others may take the time to fill open positions. "For example, accounting firms are busiest in the winter and early spring, so summer is a great time for these firms to build and train their staff," says Patty Coffey, Partner, Information Technology division at Winter, Wyman.

Contract-To-Hire Positions Are Plentiful Slip into someone's job when they're away...and you may stay even after they return. "Many organizations will hire contract employees during the summer months to fill long leaves of absence, such as extended vacations and sabbaticals, and these positions could turn into permanent employment," says Coffey.

Job-Searching in the Summer Means Less Competition "With so many people taking the summer off from the search, you'll have a better chance to stand out from the crowd and you will get viewed in a different and more positive light by potential employers," says Dadah. Summer can mean you're a bigger fish in a smaller candidate pond.

Plus, there's an additional benefit to looking for a job in the summer -- your search will be easier to keep a secret. In fall, winter, and spring, you either have to be stealthy with lunchtime interviews or take a personal day to avoid raising eyebrows. In summer, you have more options. "Bosses are often on vacation or may take a long lunch, so employees can slip away unnoticed. Plus, vacation days are more accepted -- your boss won't think it is odd if you take a vacation day or two in August," says Coffey.

However, you will want to smartly time any correspondence with a potential employer: "Job seekers should send their resumes on Sunday nights in general, so employers will get it first thing Monday morning," says Dadah. A resume sent on a summer Friday could get buried until the first frost.

Are you looking for a job this summer? How's it going? Please sign in below and share.
Follow MWOnTheJob on Twitter
More on MoneyWatch:
  • Amy Levin-Epstein On Twitter»

    Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who has been published in dozens of magazines (including Glamour, Self and Redbook), websites (including AOLHealth.com, Babble.com and Details.com) and newspapers (including The New York Post and the Boston Globe). To read more of her writing, visit AmyLevinEpstein.com.

Comments