If you’re lucky enough to have Friday afternoons off from work during the summer months, it’s probably tempting to head straight home, to the beach, or out with your friends when it’s time to leave the office. But by investing your free time on Friday afternoons into your job search, you can accelerate it in several meaningful ways. Though most employers are unlikely to schedule formal interviews on Friday afternoons during the summer, there are plenty of other ways you can get ahead. Here, find five key ways to ensure your Summer Fridays are well spent, straight from job search pros.
1. Do your research.
It can be tough to set aside time to really figure out what you’re looking for in a job and potential employer, and Summer Fridays are the perfect time to do it. “Use all your resources to understand what the kind of company you want to work for is like,” suggests Joshua M. Evans, a career coach and owner of an HR consultancy firm.
Research can also help you immensely if you make it to the interview stage. “Checking out articles, looking at their business’s social media accounts, and jumping on LinkedIn to understand who works for them and how you can be introduced can be immensely valuable in giving you a leg up,” Evans says.
2. Use the time off to network.
Scheduling informational meetings and informal catch-ups can be difficult logistically during the work week, but people often have more flexibility on Summer Fridays if their employer offers them, making it an ideal time to get some networking done. “People often say, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,’ and though not entirely true, because you do need skills for a job, finding a job is a lot easier if you know someone within the industry or at a company themselves,” says Steve Pritchard, HR Manager at Cuuver.com. “Ask friends, family or even former employers if they know of any jobs, or to meet up for a coffee and a catch up to network and see what opportunities may lie on the horizon.”
3. Don’t go home.
If you don’t normally work well at home, it’s best to take your Summer Friday job hunting efforts elsewhere. “It is too tempting to take time off when the weather is nice and you’ve just had a long week at work,” notes Debra Boggs, co-founder of D&S Professional Coaching. “To keep from getting distracted, go directly to a coffee shop or library and set a specific amount of time that you’ll spend looking for and applying to jobs.”
4. Make phone calls.
Yes, really. Though phone calls about job applications have fallen out of fashion, experts say Summer Fridays are a uniquely good time to pick up the phone. “Proactively call people that do the hiring at a company you want to work for,” Evans recommends. “People, especially those in recruiting, are often more friendly on Fridays. If you reach out to them in the morning, they will have more time to chat and can even be in a good enough mood to offer to bring you in for an interview. People associate their good feelings on Friday with a good feeling about you.”
5. Volunteer your time.
“If a career switch is in your future, Summer Fridays are a great time to build your skills and contacts in your new market,” explains Dawn Graham, PhD, a career coach and Career Director for the MBA Program for Executives at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Volunteer for a non-profit practicing your data analytics skills, explore a self-created internship with a company in your target industry, start a side hustle offering services in your target function, and attend conferences where professionals in your dream field will be congregated,”she suggests. “It’s tempting to want to begin the weekend early, but a few months of strategic action could be the foundation for your new career!”
Originally published at www.glassdoor.com