Secrets of the Job Hunt


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Job Opportunities remain hot throughout dog days

I don't get quoted too often in the local papers because my job boards compete with them but give credit to the Stamford Advocate for seeking me out. This story ran on friday.

Opportunities remain hot throughout dog days, consultants say

By Julie Fishman-Lapin
Staff WriterAugust 11, 2006

Kick off those flip-flops and trade the bathing suit for the interview suit. Despite conventional thinking, August is a great time to look for a new job.It may be the dog days of summer, but if you're a job seeker, that doesn't mean you should write off the entire season, said Bill Brimmer, vice president for the Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y., market at the Norwalk office of Right Management, a human resource consultancy.

Because August is a popular month to take a vacation, most people looking for work think they won't be able to get an appointment for a networking meeting or job interview."Things don't stop because it's summer," Brimmer said. "Internally, what goes on in companies goes on all year round."Brimmer is one of several area career experts who urges job seekers to treat August the way they would any other month.

"I think a lot of people do have that misperception that companies somehow stop hiring in July and August. If you look at job postings on the Web, they may dip a little --about 10 percent -- but that leaves 1.8 million new jobs posted online every month," said Peter Weddle, a Stamford-based career expert who writes a biweekly newsletter for job seekers and people considering a career transition.

Chris Russell, president of, a Web site that specializes in posting local jobs, said the myth that this month is a bad time to look for a job has been debunked by the reality that companies face. The market is so tight that companies can't afford to stop their recruiting efforts, said Russell, who also runs regional job boards in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Several years ago, Russell said, he would see fewer job postings during the summer. But this year, the summer postings have been as robust as in other seasons.

Cathy Candland, chief executive officer of the Stamford staffing firm Advantage Human Resourcing, agreed."We certainly talk to a lot of companies right now that have a lot of job openings," Candland said, adding that many of those firms are concerned about not being able to fill their openings in a timely manner.

Last month, the Society for Human Resource Management, in collaboration with Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, released a report that found 53.5 percent of manufacturers and 58 percent of service sector employers plan to hire this month. Those percentages, culled from the group's monthly Leading Indicator of National Employment survey, are "substantially above the August 2005 level," according to the report. The bottom line: "When other people are on vacation, it's the time that you shouldn't be," Brimmer said.A hiring manager may put off business meetings in the summer because people needed for a meeting are out of the office. That frees up time for a manager to interview or have a networking session, Brimmer said.

Job hunting in the summer is a matter of adjusting expectations, Weddle said.The pace slows down, and it may take a little longer to land a job interview. But companies are still hiring, and any downtime a job hunter faces can be used to do research and networking so they can hit the ground running come September, Weddle said.

"In the summer, you have a higher probability of connecting with people inside a company," he said. A lot of the gatekeepers are away, so the person you are hoping to talk with may actually answer his own phone.

"So there is an element of competitive advantage there," he said."It's a good time to get noticed," Russell said. "You have a much better chance of standing out."

"If you are the one out there trying to meet people and making things happen, it's likely you are the one that will step ahead of the competition," Brimmer said.

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