Monday, July 28, 2008

August is the Perfect Time to Prepare

Use this coming month to prepare for job searches this fall. Marc Cenedella, Founder & CEO of wrote this on his e-mail this morning:

The next 5 weeks are the perfect time to take advantage of the slow summer months and get your resume, your pitch, your interview, and your job hunt plans in order.

He's absolutely right - because while you're working on your resume, employers are finalizing job descriptions and postings that will start to appear right before and right after Labor Day. Many employers want to hire people right away to handle the expected heavy work load from late September to early December. If you're ready with your resume and cover letter, you'll be one of the first applicants to reach the employer.

It does help to be one of the first to cross the transom, especially in this economy. Employers are always looking for people who really want to work for their specific company, in their specific industry. Applying early in the search process indicates that you are motivated, even eager, to do this job.

Early application means that you stand a better chance of getting an interview if employers use a rolling search process - interviewing candidates until they get the right person. My experience is that very few employers actually wait to review resumes and start interviews until the advertised "final date for application." Thus, it's not to your advantage to wait until the very end of the process.

Don't despair, however, if you happen to see a posting that is close to its "end date" and you think the job is perfect for you. If you are really passionate about the work and the company, you can still put together a compelling cover letter. The cover letter should emphasize two things up front:

1) you just began your search process; and
2) you are so glad to have found this posting because it is absolutely the perfect position for you.

Stating this in the first paragraph of your cover letter can cause someone in HR to give your resume a look. And if they haven't already found the perfect person (or the "good enough" person), you may be in luck.

Remember the old saying that "luck favors the prepared" and have that resume ready to go. August is the perfect time to prepare to land your "right fit" job!

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