By Jim Wong, CPA | July 1, 2014

After the brutal winter that we had in the Midwest, most of us are glad to have summer back in full swing. The Fourth of July holiday is upon us and there’s sure to be many a barbeque, or two, and fun times to be had. So, I’m sure that finding your next accounting, finance or IT job opportunity is probably the furthest thing from your mind, but don’t completely blow off the idea just yet. The summer can be more productive than you think.

Sure, there’s a lot of vacation time being taken and shorter office hours—especially, when it’s a sunny Friday, and you’re sure your boss won’t mind you taking the afternoon off, right? Maybe. But, don’t blend in with everyone else justifying the slacking–off concept. Take this time to be proactive. Hiring companies don’t stop hiring just because the weather gets warm.

If you were contemplating making a job switch during the winter or spring months and just haven’t taken the initiative to focus on what needs to be done to begin the process, take this active season to be just that—active in your job search.

Here are five helpful tips to keep in mind when trying to land your next hot accounting, finance or IT job:

1. Update your resume.
It might sound simple, but if your resume still has your college GPA and your entry level skillsets, now’s the time to dust it off and state all of the experience you’ve acquired over the past decade, or more. Make sure that you list your budget–forecasting experience, your month–end expertise or your java knowledge so that you’re showing off your best self from this point forward. Remember, your resume has to catch the eye, and the keyword search, of your prospective company. If needed, have a professional review your resume so that it is optimized for your job search.

2. Freshen up your skills.
While you may think that you have everything it takes to become a controller, senior–level tax accountant or technical designer for that Fortune 500 company, if you haven’t passed your CPA or received your MIS degree, you’re not going to stand out from the rest of the pack. You should take these longer days to enroll in an accelerated accounting, finance or IT course. Everyone knows that summer is akin to fast–track education and other summer intensives. Be sure to take advantage.

3. Network.
Research shows that companies are beginning to, if not already started, to add jobs at an increased pace, but not all job seekers are aware of this. Be in the know and start searching for the next step in your career by talking with professionals in the industry. Attend networking events, connect with individuals on social media, request recommendations on LinkedIn, send emails to your colleagues, or even make a few phone calls to reconnect with old friends. Whichever avenue or network you choose, make the most of talking with other professionals in your industry to get the insight and feedback you may not receive otherwise.

4. Go Shopping. Your personal appearance, including what you wear to a job interview, is just as important as the things you say and the experience that you bring. Keeping a tidy look and dressing appropriately can make you a standout in your job interview. So, consider buying that new suit and new pair of shoes. Nothing shows that you’re serious about the accounting, finance or IT position that you’re applying for than dressing like a CFO or CIO! And, summer is one of the best times for deals and sales on clothing. Be smart, look the part and pay the right price for your new high–level position.

5. Practice. Role play with your colleagues, friends or significant other the question and answers that are sure to come up in the interviewing process. Without being too scripted, this will help your level of comfort when it comes time for that first phone or in–person interview. It’ll also help you stay on your toes and be prepared for any off–the–wall questions that may happen. Practice makes perfect and that includes your job search.

Remember, just because it’s the summer season doesn’t give you an excuse to put your career on hold. Take advantage of this time to put your job search into high gear and land that new accounting, finance or IT role!

Have other hot tips to add to the list? Comment below and let us know.

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