woman lying on the grass at summer sunsetAccording to the National Association of Colleges and Employer (NACE), the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) projects 1,606,000 students will graduate in the college Class of 2014 with bachelor’s degrees. The NACE also reports that its Job Outlook 2014 survey revealed that employers expect to hire around 7.8 percent more graduates from the Class of 2014 than they hired from the Class of 2013.

During the current graduation season, there is undoubtedly a shift in our nation’s job market. More than 1 million degree holding job seekers are currently entering the workforce, which means much more competition when it comes to securing a job.

With 9.8 million Americans currently unemployed, is right now—during the influx of even more job seekers—the best time for hopeful workers to send out their resumes? Or should job seekers take a break for the summer months and resume the job hunt during the fall?

Recruiter.com petitioned the help of Jason Hanold of Hanold Associates to help answer these questions and more. Read on to discover what Hanold has to say about the current shift in today’s job market and how job seekers should approach the job search during this time.

1. What shifts have you seen in the career market seasonally and as of recently?

We are seeing more people just entering the job market taking their time to travel, explore, and gain other meaningful life experiences before diving hard into their careers. Also, those interviewing and securing employment while enrolled in school and before graduation are negotiating later start dates so they too can spend personal time traveling.

2. Do you think the summer is a good time for people to find new careers?

Summer being a good time to find a job varies depending on the “type” of job seeker. Passive seekers, or those who want to be recruited, may be better off waiting until the fall when the individual hiring managers are back from summer vacation, and focus on proactively building the resumes versus summertime firefighting (responding to what is necessary rather than forward thinking/capability building). If you are an active seeker, such as in need of a job now or actively looking to leave a company, there is no time like the present. Roles open up throughout the year, and it is never too early to get on the radar of a potential hiring manager.

3. What tips do you provide to people looking for new careers?

For any job seeker, especially the active seeker, employers always appreciate transparency, authenticity, and clear communication. Take the time to understand who you are writing to or calling, and address them by their name (sounds incredibly basic, but I read far too many resumes addressed to “Sir or Madam”, when they took the time to send to my direct email and know my name is Jason). Then, drop the corporate speak and let me know why you are writing, what role interests you and why. Keep it to the point, succinct, but meaningful.  Let your personality come through. Don’t come across as robotic and watch the superlatives, both approaches dilute the impact of your communication.

4. Are there certain timing issues you raise with prospective applicants?

No matter what season, I always suggest the applicants avoid Fridays, weekends and right before the holidays for applying for a job. Professionals are people, and think about human nature; weekend is approaching, and folks want to clean up their emails, to-do lists, any unfinished business and then head out to recharge for the weekend. For those who like to respond to emails immediately and maintain a clean email inbox, there is nothing more annoying than receiving that outreach on a Friday night when you are with your family. Those are easier messages to delete. Reach out on Tuesday through Thursday mornings when most are in the flow of conducting business. As a recruiter, I will rarely call potential prospects on a Friday afternoon or evening, as it is too easy to opt out, if one is trying unwind for the weekend.

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