5 reasons summer is a great time to look for work

People enjoying a barbeque
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(MoneyWatch) Looking for a job this summer? If you're pounding the proverbial pavement between June and August, it may seem that hiring is slow. And it's definitely true that when hiring managers, HR staff and other decision makers are taking their vacations and Summer Fridays, everything may take a little longer. Delays can occur at every step, from the time of response to your resume to learning whether you got the job. But there are some benefits to seeking work in this season. Here are five that make put a spring in your summer-search step from the career pros at WinterWyman:

You're swimming in a smaller pool. While other job seekers are on vacation, you will take their interview spots. "Sure, it can be challenging when scheduling meetings and interviews around vacations, but that's just a logistical issue," notes Sara Ferraioli, partner and general manager of the Human Resources Contracts division at WinterWyman. "By kicking your search into high gear, you are much better positioned to score a job with fewer people applying."

There may be more short-term opportunities. If you're unemployed or a recent college graduate, a temporary position may help you earn some money and get some relevant experience while you search for your dream job. "Contractors and temps are often in high demand during the summer to cover for vacations," notes Katy Spriano, principal staffing manager at WinterWyman. These temp jobs can be especially important for grads who have offers for the fall. "Thankfully, this doesn't happen often, but CPA and law firms have been known on occasion to pull offers from incoming graduates," says Spriano. Your temp job could help you keep your options open if need be.

Entire companies aren't on vacation. In this economy or any other, most companies don't really shut down for summer, says Doug Schade, principal consultant in the Software Technology Search division at WinterWyman. And some, such as start-ups, can't afford to slow down at all. "Entrepreneurs start and develop companies all year round. Investors and funding happen during the summer, too," says Schade.

Networking opportunities are plentiful. Going to a ball game? Playing a round of golf? Chowing down at a cookout? Summer is all about socializing and, if you do it right, networking. "Have your message or elevator speech down pat about what you do and what you are looking for; seek out advice in this nonthreatening environment," says Ferraioli.

Hiring for certain industries will increase. Hiring slows for some industries in the summer, but speeds up for others. "While tourism and hospitality companies hire talent specifically for the summer and retail jobs peak in the winter, some organizations, like schools, finalize their hiring plans during the summer. Many CPA and legal firms also bring on new grads for the fall," says Spriano. "Look at labor reports and business publications to find industries in your area that tend to hire during the summer for positions in the fall."

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Rotatebot

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    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.