As the wind howls down the cold city streets reminding you of the folly of not wearing fleecy undergarments, you can always count on your humorous friend to cheerfully remark “Is it cold enough for you?” as you take refuge inside the warm coffee shop where you’re meeting for a spot of networking.
Yes, winter is a miserable, bone-aching and often depressing time and it is tempting to place your job search on hold, snuggle up on the couch with a DVD and think about getting a job another day.
Tempting yes, good practice? No.
Winter in Australia is an excellent time to kick start your job search. The business sector is working solidly without distractions, post-summer jobseekers are too busy to be disgruntled, and fewer decision makers are on extended vacation.
How can you heat up your job search and make winter a season that works for you? Here are five ways that you can keep up your momentum to ensure you are the hot candidate.
1. Telephone people in your network. Ah yes the telephone; a communication device that will allow you to avoid (at least for a while) venturing outside. Think of at least one person to call every day to advise that you’re back on the market and ask if he or she will keep an ear out for you.
2. Freshen up your resume. How long have you been adding new information to an old format? Years perhaps? Use your rainy day to research samples of how resumes are presented now or better still, to research professional resume writers to do the job for you. In preparation, rediscover performance reviews, testimonials, job descriptions and emails that will prompt you to remember some great examples of your achievements.
3. Establish or revamp your Linked-in Profile. Is it up-to-date? Does it indicate to someone searching for a professional with your skills that you are available? Linkedin is used by recruiters as a tool to seek potential candidates. Make sure they can find you easily.
4. Get in the right mindset. Winter can have a negative effect on many people; depression and inertia being just two byproducts of enduring endlessly grey days. For many, it is hard to ramp up enthusiasm and it will show in all your interactions. Consider a job search coach who will keep you accountable to your goals and be your partner in success. Start researching the type of service and people who can provide this service to you. Preparing yourself to last the distance in a job search, particularly in the winter months, can be just as an important tool as your resume or network.
5. Develop your job search plan. What type of job do you want? What industry? Who will you report to? What recruiting firms are you planning to contact? What salary are you seeking? What are your main obstacles to being successful that you can see? What action can you take to lessen those risks? What companies do you want to work for? Who should you contact? What are you offering that is more attractive than your competitors? Take your time to work on this seriously. Everything worth doing is worth planning for.
Following these five action tasks will heat up your job search and keep you occupied on those rainy day weekends. The ground work you put in now will yield a good crop of opportunities ripe for the picking come Spring!
I am a member of the Career Collective. A group of experienced career professionals who blog on specific topics every month. Look for our posts on Twitter #careercollective. Meantime, check out other member articles on this topic below.
Heating up the Job Search-How to Stay Motivated During the Summer, @erinkennedycprw
Light the Fire Under Your Feet, @careersherpa
Cool Job Seekers Heat Up Their Search in the Summer, @barbarasafani
Some assembly required, @DawnBugni
9 Ways to Heat Up Your Job Search This Summer, @heatherhuhman
Getting Out From Under Chronic, @WorkWithIllness
Upping Your Job Search Flame; Be ‘Needed, Not Needy,‘ @ValueIntoWords
Is Your Career Trapped in the Matrix? @WalterAkana
Put some sizzle in your job hunt – how to find a job now, @keppie_careers
Summertime – and the Job Search Ain’t Easy, @KCCareerCoach
Hot Tips for a Summer Job Search, @MartinBuckland @EliteResumes
Heat Up Your Job Search: Avoid Job Boards, @JobHuntOrg
Treasure Hunt—Yo-ho-ho! Heat Up Your Job Search, @resumeservic