Fall Job Search: Get an Offer by the End of the Year

Posted by Ashley Jones
Fall Job Search

It’s nearly fall—not only a time for the leaves to change, but also perhaps your job. If you’re in cleared job search mode, now is the time to make the most of the active autumn hiring season. Companies are resuming normal hiring activity following the slower pace of summer, and hiring managers are back in full force to fill open positions before the arrival of the holiday season. In fact, we’re approaching the busiest hiring month of the year, October. Employers are defining their fall hiring needs and are ready to fill roles. Are you prepared to land one this fall?

Why Cleared Job Search is Hot in Fall

Wondering what’s the urgency? The time is right for job search because government contractors are looking forward to the federal government’s new fiscal year and new contracts. First quarter falls at different times for different companies and entities, not necessarily at the beginning of the calendar year. The federal government’s new fiscal year begins October 1. This means fall is full of opportunity for cleared job seekers, as employers focus on meeting the staffing needs of programs and projects beginning concurrent with the government’s new fiscal year.

Steps to Make the Most of the Season

If a new job is your end goal, get down to business and use this time to your advantage. Whether you’re just beginning or reviving your job search, maximize opportunities this fall by addressing four crucial elements: your resume, elevator speech, networking efforts, and how you manage your overall job search and marketing plan.

1. Review Your Resume

Your cleared resume is an advertisement, not your biography. The goal of your resume is to get a hiring manager or recruiter to contact you for an interview. It should only include details that are relevant to the position you’re applying for (always target your resume when possible), or if it’s a networking or general resume, the direction you want to take your career.

Recruiters initially do a quick scan of your resume to see if it merits a deeper dive. Grab their attention quickly with a concise summary that illustrates what value you offer to the specific targeted employer. And be sure to focus on accomplishment statements rather than listing responsibilities—this is one of the most important improvements you can make to your resume.

If you haven’t made it through to the next steps in the hiring process like a phone screening or interview, ask yourself if your resume really says what you think it says. Is your resume serving your job search well? A resume doesn’t get you hired – it just opens doors. So proofread, refine, and rewrite when necessary to make sure it’s up to par.

2. Perfect Your Elevator Speech

Whether you call it your elevator pitch, personal introduction, or 30-second commercial, you need to be able to quickly and clearly communicate who you are and what you’re looking for. It’s relevant in interviews, at job fairs, when you email your resume to someone asking for help, or in any setting where you’re talking about your job search.

The hiring process can often move faster during fall. So if a recruiter calls up and asks you to tell them about yourself, deliver your prepared elevator speech, rather than an unclear answer that you have to wing on the spot. Having a personal commercial ready in your back pocket that highlights your value will improve your interviews and overall job search. It’s probably your most frequently delivered marketing tool, so make sure it’s attention grabbing and accurately conveys your expertise and unique strengths.

3. Network, Network, Network

This step goes far beyond the fall season, as networking should continue throughout your career, not just when you’re in job search mode. Your network is a valuable long-term professional development tool. It takes time to build, but it’s well worth it. Your network is how you gain intel, referrals, and access to the hidden job market.

Successful job seekers create a comprehensive written networking plan of their contacts and referrals. Identify the people in your network and keep a running tally of your interactions with them. Once you’ve identified your contacts, proactively connect and stay in touch periodically, not just when you need something from them. Your networking plan provides a path to ultimately uncover career opportunities, get on an employer’s radar, and gain a place of priority over other candidates. Sounds like something worth investing in.

4. Manage Your Job Search and Marketing Plan

Job search is tough and there’s a lot to keep track of throughout the process. It can be overwhelming to keep everything straight. This is where a marketing plan comes in handy. Don’t approach job search haphazardly. Take control by developing a plan upfront that provides direction for daily job search activities to stay organized and focused on your objective.

If you haven’t put together your plan yet, start now by identifying your skills and experience. Then identify industries and specific companies that value your skillset. And finally target and contact those employers. Keep in mind, your marketing plan is a work in progress. Add companies as you go and remove those that you realize aren’t the right fit. By setting daily and weekly to do’s as simple as when to follow-up with a recruiter, you’ll keep your job search moving forward and keep less from falling through the cracks. So manage your job search to increase the chance that you spend your time, energy, and resources on activities that lead to opportunities.

These steps may not sound new or out of the box. But the fact of the matter is, many job seekers don’t do these things. If you do manage your marketing and networking plans, and continue to refine your resume and elevator speech, you will be ahead of the competition. So work now to turn fall’s opportunities into an offer by the end of the year.


  • Ashley Jones

    Ashley Jones is ClearedJobs.Net's blog Editor and a cleared job search expert, dedicated to helping security-cleared job seekers and employers navigate job search and recruitment challenges. With in-depth experience assisting cleared job seekers and transitioning military personnel at in-person and virtual Cleared Job Fairs and military base hiring events, Ashley has a deep understanding of the unique needs of the cleared community. She is also the Editor of ClearedJobs.Net's job search podcast, Security Cleared Jobs: Who's Hiring & How.

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 11, 2020 12:10 pm

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