After a warm summer, the leaves are beginning to turn and the temperature is a little crisp at night in Western New York. Just like how the weather seasons turn and change, job searching differs during certain times of the year. The core basics of a job search may stay the same, but each season has its own special nuisances.
Since we are entering fall, let’s focus on how autumn may differ a bit from the other times of the year (in particular, summer).
• Increased Competition – We will start the list with a not-so-appealing change in the season. The fall generally has an increased number of job seekers who are actively searching for employment. There are a couple reasons for this: 1) Some people stopped looking for employment while they worked at a seasonal/summer job (this may have ranged from a vacation replacement, to a construction or landscaping position). 2) Some people have re-entered the market after taking the summer off. Although this is rarely recommended, individuals may need the time to care for children, or simply to take some rest and relaxation. There is some good news on the competition front, however, as you do have some individuals, such as college students, departing to go back to school.
• Importance of Being Flexible and Nimble – The back half of the year can be interesting for companies trying to manage their budget in order to make their numbers by year-end. This sometimes results in delayed hiring towards the end of the year, or even “hiring freezes”. Hiring Managers that sense that their position may be in jeopardy of being delayed, or to need to hire before a “freeze”, may work very quickly in the fall. The key for you is to offer multiple avenues to be reached and then be flexible and nimble, if necessary, when scheduling appointments. The good news is that, in the fall, you will generally be faced with a Hiring Manager who means business about filling their position. This is not only due to fear of losing the position, but (by starting in the fall) you still have a chance to be trained and make a positive impact on the company, prior to the end of the year.
• Vacations Are Over – If you were searching during the summer, you were probably pulling your hair out over the starts and stops to your search. This is generally because there are many vacations during this time of year, causing continuity challenges for a Hiring Manager to fill his or her position. During the fall, you are between summer and the holidays, which means that vacation is usually minimal, and it is much easier to schedule appointments.
• Different Type of Seasonal Needs – While summer seasonal help is ending, a whole new round of seasonal/temporary jobs will open up. This list ranges from retail positions, to manufacturing or distribution for those in peak season, to catering. I generally recommend a person attempt to maintain some employment; it looks/sounds better when communicating to a Hiring Manager, and it can be good for the mental health of the job seeker (staying home can drive a person bonkers).
• Fewer Distractions – Face it, job seeking in a Western New York summer can be tough. Gorgeous days and lots of low/no-cost events can make it difficult to make much progress in your job search, if you allow yourself to get caught up in it. In the fall, a person will more likely be indoors and at home, providing a more disciplined setting for job searching and networking. This can all be done, however, without the holiday distractions that can come with a job search later in the year. In summary, it is a good time to stay focused in your job search.
• Networking Counts Even More – Advertising budgets can get a little tighter for recruiters as the year progresses. Many employers place an even greater emphasis on an affordable print/online option like WNYJOBS.com, while also relying more on networking. Working the phone lines with your colleagues, family, and friends can really pay dividends when employers lack the funds to place those super expensive ads in the daily newspapers. Use the fall as a great time to reconnect with people, either in-person or by phone, to receive the latest scoop on potential openings. Also, don’t forget to check in on the WNYJOBS.com website a few times a week and pick up a print paper for further review.
Each season of the year brings some subtle changes to the job search season. Understanding these differences and adjusting your approach accordingly, may be just what you need to land the job that you want.
As always, the best of luck in your job search.
The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.
Joe Stein WNY Human Resources Professional
Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at: Joe Stein