While the beginning of the year is often the best time to hunt for a job, summer can be notoriously tricky. During the summer months, the recruitment process can take longer with many people away from the office. It may seem like there are fewer promising job prospects and you may not immediately hear back about applications.

Whether you’re job hunting by choice or necessity, summer may seem like a bad, or at least frustrating, time to look for a new job. Yet, is this really the case? Is it still worth applying for jobs? We’ll take a look at the question and help you identify ways to adapt your job hunting approach for greater success during the summer months.

Is the Summer Slump Real?

Data collected by Executives Online over a ten year period revealed the best and worst times to look for a job. This study showed that more jobs are advertised during November, February, March, May, June, and October so early summer months are actually one of the best times to find employment. On the flipside, this data also shows that the second slowest recruitment month, after December, is August. EO found that the recruitment industry slowed after June but then picked up again in September.

It’s also worth remembering that not all business slow down over summer. In fact, it can be the exact opposite for seasonal industries like tourism, hospitality, agriculture, and construction. These industries often look to hire new employees for the summer months. For example, cafes, restaurants and bars in Edinburgh bring on new staff to cope with Scotland's summer surge in tourism.

The Benefits of Summer Job Hunts

While there are indeed some disadvantages to summer job hunts, there are also some benefits. For instance, there’s often less competition, more networking opportunities, and it’s easier to sneak out of the office for interviews.

Less Competition

On sunny days, especially in Scotland, most people struggle to focus on their professional lives. Sunbathing in the park and back garden BBQs are too tempting, meaning that other job seekers may be distracted from the application process. When an exciting job opportunity does arise, there will be less competition and you’ll be able to shine.

More Networking Opportunities

Summer is a social season. When the weather’s fine, people are more likely to host parties and cocktail hours or play a round of golf, making for plenty of informal networking opportunities. Workloads are also generally lighter, so people are more willing to get together for a coffee or drink. Meeting the right people can give you a head start.

Easier to Attend Interviews

During summer months, it’s easier to leave the office a bit early or take a longer lunch break to attend an interview without raising suspicion. Some companies even adopt new, more relaxed, policies like ending early on Fridays or unofficial long weekends. It’s also a common time for employees to take holidays so your holiday request won’t raise eyebrows. Similarly, bosses are often out of the office making it easy for you to slip out of the office unnoticed. Plus, with a lighter workload, you can focus on your upcoming interview without worrying about work stresses.

How to Search for a Summer Job

Are you ready to find your next career move? A slower recruitment process and more relaxed work attitudes mean that summer job hunts require a different approach than busier times of the year.

One of the most important things to remember is that the process will require a bit more patience. Be prepared for the recruitment process to take a bit longer as hiring managers might be on holiday. Similarly, HR teams often set longer deadlines for job applications to accommodate potential candidates that might be spending time with their families or away on holiday. During this downtime, make sure to closely communicate with your consultant about any updates and look for networking opportunities within your chosen career.

Summer is also a fantastic time to prepare for upcoming job opportunities. It’s a great chance to update your LinkedIn profile, further polish your CV, and identify companies that really interest you. If you don’t already have a clear career plan, it’s also the perfect time to reflect on what you want to be doing next and research leading companies or individuals within that field.

Short-term contract and freelance jobs, often more common during summer months, are a fantastic way to get your foot in the door. With employees taking longer holidays or leaves of absences, many companies need additional cover. Despite any initial hesitations, a contract or temporary role can help you fill the gaps in your CV and develop new skills. It’s a great way to network and get to know companies. Quite often these roles lead to more permanent jobs or new opportunities.

Whether you’re looking for a short-term contract or something more permanent, we have a range of excellent job opportunities – whatever the season.