(You might not want to wear sweats though!)

In the past, after Labor Day meant the kids were back in school, vacations were a distant memory and the beach scene was uncrowded.

Well, now maybe the kids are in school but ensconced in your home, there was no vacation to recall this pandemic summer for fear of interacting with the public in hotels, planes, trains, and ships. The beach? Well, it’s always there beckoning me, all year round until it’s just too cold to sit and watch the sun set.

In the past the early days of September meant that hiring got back in gear, we attended off-site business meetings, and conferences were in full gear for a couple of months. Nonprofits were clamoring for donations in galas and award dinners at swanky hotels, you saw your name in ad journals, and competed for the grand prize in auctions. No more.

Hiring is stymied for lack of planning the financial future of the department or firm, and candidates are abundant for far too few openings. But will it always be so constrained? Will something spur the economy to reopen with gusto?

Be prepared with an entire package to brand yourself: rousing resume, cozy cover letter, pithy profile on LinkedIn, and very virtual interview skills. You have no room to rush to accumulate them at the spur of the moment because you won’t do it well under pressure.

You better be ready. One or more of these can happen:

  • Perhaps you will receive an InMail from a recruiter that you were identified in a LinkedIn search as a prospect for an assignment they are working on, but you didn’t expect this, and you have to reply within 24 hours.
  • Maybe one of your friends was at a Labor Day BBQ and in conversation behind a mask and 6 feet away, they heard about a position that the other invitee was trying to fill and they thought of you immediately, and they had to let you know that evening whom to contact and what they recall from the conversation.
  • Per chance a networking colleague posts an opening on the group’s listserv, and you jump at the opportunity, or someone refers it to you.
  • And finally, what if your recent article or Zoom panel discussion placed spotlight on your thought leadership and a phone call from an impressed attendee led to a deep conversation and then to another speaking opportunity and you decided “Hey, I like this” and new side hustle was born: consultant/speaker/writer, and then your resume becomes a CV or bio and your cover letter morphs into a response to an RFP, and you still need to reorient your LinkedIn profile and always perfect being a great interviewee for that next gig…and on and on.

Anything is possible in the autumn of a pandemic, right? Be a good boy/girl scout: be prepared!

Don’t procrastinate working on your branding materials. Including LinkedIn!

Marc W. Halpert

LinkedIn personal coach, group trainer, marketing strategist and overall evangelist, having a great time pursuing my passion of connecting professionals so they can collaborate better!

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