"Heating up" the job search–how to stay motivated during the summer

Career CollectiveJob Search

**I am a member of the Career Collective, a group of resume writers and career coaches. Each month, all members discuss a certain topic. This month, we are talking about looking for a job during the summer months. Please follow our tweets on Twitter #careercollective . You can also view the other member’s interesting posts at the end of the article.

Getting through a layoff or firing during the summer months can seem especially cruel. Your employed friends and family are either taking vacation time off in the summer, or even if they just have a paid long weekend, they’re financially able to make the most of it. You might be sitting at home, scrimping on groceries and air conditioning, while the rest of the world seems to be taking paid holidays at exotic locations, or just able to keep up with their bills and maybe buy a kiddie pool.
It doesn’t have to be a low point. The summer can mean many good things for a job hunter, including the fact that other job seekers might be distracted right now and the competition is a little less fierce. Take this time to do some work for yourself, including: Making a list of what you’d actually like to get done this summer, and how you’ll make that happen. It might mean picking up a part-time job doing something completely different, just for a little extra cash and to get you out of the house. It should also include strong strategies for how you’ll get a real job, including goals for interviews during the summer, updating your wardrobe, and daily goals for just getting your resume out there.

Make a daily schedule and be rigid about living it. Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean you get to take a break from looking for work. Maintain a regular bedtime, get up at an early hour, take your shower, and get dressed, just as if you were headed to work. Then go to your desk and get on the computer, not to play games, but to pour over the want ads and job boards. Join as many online networking sites as you can, and spread the word that you’re in need of employment. Spend as much time looking for a job as you would at a regular job, each day, every day.
Regarding resumes, how fresh is yours? Have you tried different versions of the same resume, shifting objectives and experience, trying out different looks? Maybe you should, and send a few variations of them to friends or family you respect to look over and make suggestions. Perhaps your resume is not sending out the message you want, and you don’t even know it because you’re too close to the situation. Is your resume selling you well, or sabotaging you?
As for your look, take this time to make sure your clothing is in good working order, no holes, missing buttons, stains or tears. If it can be repaired, fix it yourself on the cheap, or get someone who knows what they’re doing to help you. If it needs to be cleaned, have a professional take care of it. If you’re missing some key pieces in your wardrobe, pick some up at a discount store or new at a place like Kohl’s.
Most importantly, try to keep your mood light and enjoy your summer. Spend time with friends outdoors… Vitamin D is supposed to keep you healthy, so get outside and get some fresh air. Go to barbecues, parties, or visit a friend for coffee. It will do your heart and mind a world of good.
Don’t forget to check out other similar articles from members of the Career Collective:

Turn Off The Computer, Tune Into What’s Happening, & Heat Up the Job Search, @chandlee
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
Summertime, Sluggish Economy Provide Strong Motivation for an Updated Resume, @KatCareerGal
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
Heating up your job search. 5 ways to dismiss those winter blues, @GayleHoward
Hot Tips for a Summer Job Search, @MartinBuckland @EliteResumes
Heat Up Your Job Search: Avoid Job Boards, @JobHuntOrg