In baseball, both pitchers and batters look for any advantage they can. Crowding the plate, an extra inch in the strike zone, a mile or two more on your fastball – small things up the odds of a hit or a strike. A simple thing can sometimes make the difference, and that difference at the right time can be huge.
What does this mean in the world of staffing and to people who are looking for their next job?
Well, while baseball is in full swing, summer is generally a slow or at least slower time for many industries. It can seem as if almost everyone’s on vacation. You might figure there’s no point in checking open positions or submitting your resume – who’s there to read it?
Well, you’d be thinking like a whole lot of other people and you would be wise to do the opposite. As a standard practice, we measure and track key metrics, looking at whatever numbers, statistics and trends that help us make better business decisions. And being in the business that we are in, one of the things we track carefully is how many people apply for jobs; how many resumes did we receive today, this week, this month?
Surprisingly, there are occasions when we think the numbers are going to trend down but they don’t. We’ve been surprised on certain holidays but summer is one of those times when our expectations are met. The number of resumes submitted are fewer. It doesn’t slow to a crawl, but it is noticeably lower. Is that a good thing or a bad? Depends on who you are and how you look at it.
If you are looking for people, then fewer resumes is not necessarily a good thing. If you are applying for jobs, trying to get noticed – then this is your time to shine. While it may be tempting to head to the beach, retire to a hammock with a good book, or go for a hike with your kids, you might want to just spend a few minutes before you do.
Sending your resume when others aren’t means you have an extra chance to stand out and be noticed. This can be particularly beneficial if you are applying to jobs that get a lot of applicants or are trying to break into a really hot company. Simple math tells us that it’s better to be 1 of 20 than 1 of 50, or 1 of 100, or, etc. The odds are better, and as Babe Ruth, Ken Griffey Jr., or Miguel Cabrera knows, even the smallest better odds can be the difference between getting a base hit, a homerun, or striking out.
And it’s not just submitting your resume where your odds get better. 70% of all jobs are the result of networking. So if you’ve been meaning to have lunch with a former coworker who’s at a company you’d like to join or have coffee with the woman your sister-in-law knows who’s the head of IT at XYZ, now is also a good time to reach out. They might be on vacation too, but they might not. Sometimes, when everyone else is away and work is a little slower, it can be easier to get away for lunch or just to have a good phone call that’s not rushed.
The point is that any time things are slower and competition, for time, attention, or a job, is less, it gives the person who applies an advantage. Don’t postpone your vacation or skip the hike with the kids, just carve out time before to make that phone call or submit that resume. And if you aren’t planning a vacation, don’t feel bad, look at the upside. It could be to your advantage, and whether you’re at bat or on the hunt for a job, everyone could use an advantage!