Does executing a summer job search strategy sound about as appealing as sitting on the beach on a sunny day without a hint of shade? It’s tempting to blow off career concerns when the weather’s nice, and use that time-honored excuse: “I’ll worry about it come Fall.” But here’s the thing: that’s what EVERYONE’S thinking. Which means come Fall, the noise level will increase exponentially. And that’s not an ideal situation to be in, especially at the executive level.
So let’s change that. Let’s use a strategic approach that leverages the biggest advantage you have in the summer months –greater-than-normal access to C-suite executives and senior leaders who have the power to create a role for you — and backs it up with a brand that’ll quickly establish credibility…and move you closer to the endgame. End result? When your peers are panicking come Fall, you’ll be evaluating offers. And that IS ideal.
Your 3-Step Summer Job Search Strategy
STEP 1: Get the Resume and LinkedIn Right.
-Generality kills career prospects. Boil what you’re after down to a shortlist of 5-10 closely linked roles and some target industries. Now hop onto LinkedIn and start identifying people who have these roles and work within these industries. How are they branding and positioning themselves? Compile a list of competitor LinkedIn URLS. This is highly valuable intelligence that you will use to ensure your efforts operate within a “laneway of success.”
-Create a LinkedIn Headline that crystallizes your unique value. DON’T just use the default, which is your current job title. Here are some examples:
Head of Product and Innovation- SaaS, Mobile, IoT | Fortune 500 and Start-Ups.
Lean/Six Sigma Business Transformation and Culture Change | Turning Cost Centers into Profit Centers
-The LinkedIn Summary works best when it’s written in the first person and leans into the MAJOR PAIN POINTS that you solve. Here’s an example of an effective LinkedIn Summary opener:
I help digital health and wellness companies define the path forward, secure VC funding and investors, and turn moments of crisis into moments of opportunity.
-Avoid the temptation to make your LinkedIn Profile generic! Once credibility and fit have been established, by all means, play up your unique life story and perspective! These are crucial to generating interest at the senior leadership level.
-Start the Resume with a 1-line branding statement that’s similar to the LinkedIn Headline. Expert tip: you can replace this statement for the EXACT TITLE of the role you’re going after, in the event that you’re using the resume to pursue a specific job posting.
-Next, lead in with 3 bullet points that go to the heart of the CHANGE you make happen. Get specific and highly detailed here- what’s the full scope of what you’ve done in these areas? What’s the highest level of budgetary oversight you’ve held or teams you’ve led? Remember: the goal of a Resume is to transition a casual discussion into a hiring discussion. Which means it needs to withstand close scrutiny.
Also read: Next Level Networking: How to Leverage Your Network for the Career You Want | Networking for Success Series
STEP 2: TAP INTO THE HIDDEN POWER OF YOUR EXISTING NETWORK
Who do you know that has deep roots within one of the industries you’re targeting? Send these people a quick, friendly message asking to reconnect. Be open about the types of opportunities you’re exploring, and ask if they’d be open to making an introduction to someone valuable via LinkedIn (you can check out their “Mutual Connections” within their LinkedIn Profile and offer a specific suggestion here). Execute this a few times and you’ll make serious inroads very quickly. Just be sure to periodically follow up with your original connection and let him/her know of the fruits of their assistance.
STEP 3: BUILD BRIDGES WITH KEY DECISION-MAKERS
This is where we take the summer job search strategy to a new level, and let the platform you worked so hard on in Step 1 really serve you. Use LinkedIn to identify senior executives and leaders at target companies that would be in a position to create a role for you. The secret to entering into dialogue with them (now that your platform has been optimized) lies in the MESSAGING SEQUENCE. This is a specific set of messages you’ll send to “warm” this person up, and make them receptive to chatting with you over the course of a few weeks. Here’s a sample formula:
-Customized CONNECTION REQUEST MESSAGE.
-A VALUE MESSAGE where you share an interesting piece of content or insight.
-A CALL REQUEST MESSAGE.
Draft messages for each of these steps, save them, and start using them for the new people you’re connecting with. Continuously improve and refine your messaging over time.
Execute this strategy in addition to “one-offs” like using the Resume to pursue interesting job postings, and initiating dialogue with external recruiters who specialize in your niche, will ensure that your summer job search strategy is a roaring success. Good luck!