How to Take Advantage of the September Surge & Get Hired

As seen on Forbes.

You may have seen the trend all over your TikTok feed or recent articles — the September Surge for hiring is here. Most recruiters, hiring managers, and career coaches can agree: now is the best time to update your resumes and start hunting for a new role if you want to land one by the end of the year.

So what is this September Surge? It refers to the uptick in hiring that occurs in the last quarter of the year. The surge happens because of two things. First: hiring managers and recruiters are mostly back now from their summer vacations. And second: many companies and brands have a remaining budget to accelerate hiring and help hit certain revenue targets as the year ends. This way, they can end the year on a high and have a complete team that’s ready to hit the ground running early next year.

I’ve been in the HR and recruitment space for the better part of the decade, and have seen the best months for candidates are typically at the beginning of the year, Spring, and of course, September. If you’ve been in the market for new opportunities, your time is going to come sooner rather than later, especially if you follow these 5 tips to get hired during the September Surge.

1. Get specific on what you want

Remember rage-applying? Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend it. While it’s true that you shouldn’t pin your hopes on just one or two applications, you also shouldn’t go and just hit “easy apply” to every open role either.

It may feel counterintuitive, but the more narrowed and specific you get on what you want the more, the higher your chances become of actually landing it. What I recommend is for you to make a list of all the great qualities you are looking for in this next role. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • What kind of company do you want to work for?
  • How would you describe what your ideal manager and team look like?
  • What skills do you want to flex in this role?
  • What projects and type of work do you not want to do?
  • Where would you like to be located?

Once you get clear on the type of role you want, why you would be a good fit, and how you can contribute, that is when the magic happens. Get specific and make a list of your target roles & companies before progressing forward.

2. Get your resume ready and tailored for the role

You already know the job market is uber competitive these days so don’t disqualify yourself with a bland, generic resume.

Think of it this way: recruiters will be sifting through hundreds of resumes for a single job post. They’ll be skimming through pages and pages of resume to focus on certain key qualifications and experiences that match the job description. And if your resume is not highlighting the things they are looking for, your chances are pretty much zero on landing an interview.

So how do you ensure that your resume stands out from the others?

You don’t have to go all out and create something wildly creative here but use what is tried and true. You can download our free, simple, ATS friendly resume template from our website here.

Next, read the job post thoroughly and put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. What kind of skills & experiences are they looking for in this candidate? Now that you know that, try to use their language, the same keywords & skills. Anything you can do to make the recruiter’s job easier will work in your favor, I guarantee it.

Then proofread for any silly errors. Make sure there are no typo errors and even get a friend or two to read your resume and check for anything that can be revised.

3. Research the company and get connected with decision makers

The next part is how you stand out even further. You can dramatically increase your chances of being noticed by deeply researching the company and getting connected with decision makers. 

Start by digging deep into the company’s website, social media profiles, and any recent news articles or press releases. This knowledge will not only help you tailor your application but also impress during upcoming information and actual interviews, demonstrating your genuine interest and commitment to the organization.

You can also look up the company’s decision makers on LinkedIn, and try to hit up a connection with a well-crafted intro. Here’s a template you can use here:

Hi James,

Amazing to see you celebrate your anniversary with FIRM! Congratulations on your tenure and all your big wins.

I wanted to reach out as I am exploring opportunities with FIRM myself. Would you be available for a call to discuss your experience so far? Thanks so much in advance!

Best, 

NAME

Also, if you can, attend industry-related events, conferences, and webinars, as these are excellent opportunities to meet professionals from your desired field, including those within your target companies. 

4. Prep for your networking chats and interviews 

And then it’s off to the interviews! Getting your resume handpicked from the rest is an excellent opportunity that you shouldn’t miss, so ensure that you’re ready to impress during your networking chats and interviews.

You’ve already done your research about the company, so you probably already know what to say on some level. All that’s left to do is to polish your game through practice. 

Research common interview questions and prepare thoughtful responses, but don’t just write your answers on a piece of paper. Write stories that highlight your unique skills & experiences, and relate back to the role you are going for.

Say them out loud and take note of your tone, expression, and body language. It doesn’t matter if you do this alone with a mirror or a friend who can provide some feedback, you just need to get those reps in to get rid of the jitters.

5. Don’t just focus on only one offer. Get multiple to build leverage.

If you follow the first four tips, you will probably have a line up of interviews coming your way. But the big mistake I want you to avoid is just going all in on one company. While it’s great to have your eyes on the prize, the more options you have, the more leverage you build up.

And saying yes to every suitable interview that you can line up can help ensure that you get the best offer possible. Because the last thing a company wants to do is lose out on great talent to another competitor. 

The goal here is to have multiple offers because then you are in the driver’s seat and are able to compare and contrast comp packages, benefits, and the overall culture of each company. If you run across a company that has the best culture-fit but is lacking in total compensation, you can even use other offers to showcase your value and negotiate for a better salary. 

Remember, this is not just another job you are after. You are going towards your ideal career and it’s important to think things through with all the information available. So be patient and give yourself the gift of choice.

Bonus Tip: Remember you are a valuable candidate!

It all starts with confidence and knowing that you bring to the table a set of skills that any company would be lucky to have. Most of the time it all just comes down to your stories, timing, and your confidence in yourself, so follow the tips I laid out for you to ensure that you make the most of the September surge. Rooting for you!

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