Five Ways To Move Your Search Ahead Even in the Dead of August

August 3, 2010 at 2:19 am Leave a comment

It’s starting to get pretty quiet out there. The benefits: less traffic, it’s easy to get a table at your favorite restaurant and you actually run into old friends you haven’t seen in a while who just happen to be in town, too. Yet for those job hunting in the D.C. area in August, it can be a pretty lonely place. Hiring managers are out of town or are too busy filling in for vacationing bosses to pay attention to filling open positions. Listings are thinner. Getting callbacks — difficult even in busy times — seems impossible now.

What’s a job hunter with a self-imposed deadline to do? First, don’t despair. It’s not you, it’s just August in D.C. While it used to be dead here starting in late June, now it’s still pretty active until the halls of Congress empty out, and then, everyone seems to get outa town. While you might consider taking a break — even a short one — too, you also can use this time to sharpen your candidacy so that you’ve got a head start when hiring revs up again in September.

Here are five ways to move your job hunt ahead even in this deadest of hiring months in the D.C. area:

*Don’t panic and figure your search has fallen apart. Decision makers are gone. Everyone who is job hunting has trouble reaching people and getting information about the status of hiring this month. And even searches that seemed to be wrapping up take longer now because crucial people may not be there to give their input. So lower your expectations about getting an offer this month and take some pressure off yourself. Also, don’t pressure recruiters or hiring managers — it won’t aid your candidacy — and don’t presume you’re doing something wrong. (If you don’t hear back from hiring managers in September and didn’t earlier this summer, that may be a different story. But August is in a category by itself).

*Try to stay in town at least part of the month and let hiring managers know you’re around. Again, keep your expectations low and don’t bother them. But just as at the holidays in December, some hiring managers may have extra time when things are slower in Washington, and may want to conduct interviews or at least read through applications. (See May 28 post, “Summer’s Coming: Better Step Up Your Job Hunt Now.”) And if they know you’re available to meet them — even for coffee or an informational interview — they may take you up on that. And in the lazier days of August, they may be able to take more time with you and be less formal than at another time, so that advantage of that. Also, they may be impressed with your flexibility in being willing to meet with them on short notice!

*Use this time to organize your search. When you’re busy preparing for interviews or doing free-lance projects, important but mundane job-hunting tasks like organizing files, sending follow-up notes and updating your networking database may fall by the wayside. Do the tasks you haven’t had time for in recent weeks or months like polishing your resume or designing new business cards. Now is a good time to get caught up.

*Take a break but make it work for you. A job hunt is exhausting — especially for those searching while employed — so take some well-deserved time off and don’t feel guilty about it. Relax and get some rest so that you’ll come back ready to join the hunt again. Yet don’t miss opportunities to network even while on vacation. Discuss your search with your family and friends, and in the more relaxed vacation atmosphere they may think of contacts or openings that didn’t occur to them earlier. Sometimes you’ll meet people out of town who could be good connections when back in town. Also, it’s a great time to seek advice from those whose advice you trust. And another way to make a break work for you is to contemplate what you really want to do with your career and set fresh goals.

*Get ready for September’s mad dash. When everyone is back in town just after Labor Day, hiring managers often realize that they had better fill their openings soon, or upper management may freeze the positions until next year. Try to get your resume to them through a contact so that it’ll be in their “to consider” pile, and have a game plan for getting back in touch with organizations that put searches  on hold this month. By doing some smart planning, organizing and goal-setting now, you may be able to move your candidacy to the front of the line when it really counts in September.

*This might seem like such obvious advice — after all, who drinks at a job interview? –but a couple of business professors from the Wharton School of Business at the Univ. of Pa. and the University of Michigan have conducted actual, apparently scientific research that shows you shouldn’t drink alcohol at a restaurant interview, even if the interviewer does. Who knew? Check out this link to a piece on

  • No wine about it: Don’t drink during a job interview
  • *Now for some fresh leads for jobs and an internship (if you’re searching for a fall internship in D.C., better get going as the good ones will be filled soon):

    *Cultural Tourism DC  is seeking a fall intern, to focus on development:

    Development Internship
    Cultural Tourism DC – Washington, DC
    arts management, communications, history or other… proposals Qualifications: Excellent writing and communications skills Bachelors degree or graduate…

    *CSC in Fairfax is looking for a senior communications professional:

    Communications Sr Professional
    CSC – Fairfax, VA
    Job Category : Communication Services Primary… communications in order to promote company agenda. Serves as editor for formal business communications as…
    From CSC

    *The American Bar Association in D.C. has an opening for a news director:

    *With a hat tip to, for these next couple of  leads, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting has an opening in D.C. for a senior editor:

    Job Announcement: Senior Editor

    The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is seeking a full-time Senior Editor to provide editorial support for the Center, manage the selection of new projects, supervise reporting, and facilitate the placement of our journalism in high-end media outlets and across the Web.

    The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is an innovative award-winning non-profit journalism organization dedicated to supporting the independent international journalism that U.S. media organizations are increasingly less able to undertake. The Center focuses on under-reported topics, promoting high-quality international reporting and creating platforms that reach broad and diverse audiences.

    The Center supports 50-plus reporting projects a year and works with dozens of major US media outlets across radio, television, online and print platforms.


    • Review and respond to all incoming proposals
    • Provide recommendations to the executive and managing directors on new projects to support
    • Provide editorial oversight of the original material posted on the Pulitzer Center site, especially dispatches from grantees in the field:  Untold Stories:
    • Provide editorial and reporting guidance to grantees as they conduct their reporting and develop specific stories and pitches
    • Oversee reporting projects where journalists are recruited to cover issues of special Pulitzer Center interest
    • Coordinate with outreach team on dissemination of material
    • Contribute posts to Untold Stories and assist with headlines and other copy aimed at drawing readers to Pulitzer Center projects
    • Manage ongoing relationships with existing media partners
    • Develop new partnerships with high-end print, television, online and radio outlets
    • Represent the Center at select events and conferences
    • Help frame and draft funding proposals to support the Center’s reporting projects


    • 10-plus years relevant work experience in journalism
    • Experience managing projects
    • Strong organization and coordination skills
    • A strong knowledge of global affairs
    • A strong grasp of the evolving media ecosystem

    Salary: Commensurate with experience

    Location: Washington, DC

    How to apply:
    Please send cover letter, contact information for three professional references and CV to with “Senior Editor” in the subject line.

    Deadline: Friday, August 20th

    Please include links to any relevant programs and projects, or send hard copies to:

    Nathalie Applewhite, Managing Director
    Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
    1779 Massachusetts Avenue., NW
    Suite 615
    Washington, DC, 20036

    *This isn’t in the D.C. metro area, but just a short trip up I-95 to Wilmington, Del., and sounds like a good opportunity for someone wanting to work as a newspaper reporter — the News Journal in Wilmington is looking for an experienced reporter to pursue watchdog projects and cover the  capital city:

    The News Journal, a statewide daily in Delaware, has an immediate opening for an experienced reporter who can aggressively pursue watchdog projects while covering the state’s capital city and surrounding communities. The right candidate must be able to craft compelling narratives woven with details from the street as well as documents obtained from sources or through the Freedom of Information Act. We break news online, so the right candidate must hit deadlines that pass every minute, engage with social networks and be adept at acquiring databases that feed enterprise reporting while also giving readers statistical depth they can’t get anywhere else. Delaware is a great place to live, just 20 minutes from Philadelphia, 90 minutes from Baltimore and 2 hours from Washington, D.C. and New York City. Delaware beaches are among the best on the East Coast. E-mail resume and clips to Assistant Managing Editor Greg Burton at or send them to him c/o The News Journal, 950 W. Basin Road, New Castle, DE 19720.

    NOTES: US Residents Only.
    Additional Salary Information: Negotiable

    *And to wrap up today’s leads, from, C-SPAN has an opening in D.C. for an associate producer:

    Industry TV/Cable
    Benefits 401K/403B, Dental, Health
    Job Duration Full Time
    Job Location Washington, DC USA
    Job Requirements C-SPAN is seeking an Associate Producer to produce daily event coverage and work with the A-Desk and Field Crews to coordinate coverage of public events at the White House. Also act as primary liaison with White House Press Office to facilitate coverage, communicate to Independent Pool members changes/updates to our White House coverage, create graphics and assist in production of special programming.

    Bachelors degree in Communications, Radio/TV/Film, Political Science or Journalism, minimum three years related experience, strong knowledge of and interest in public current affairs, previous television experience that includes familiarity with on-line editing, ability to travel. EOE.

    About Our Company C-SPAN, the Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network, is located in Washington, DC, one block from the Capitol. The cable television industry created C-SPAN in 1979 to provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage of the US House of Representatives. In 1986, C-SPAN2 was launched to provide corresponding coverage of the US Senate. C-SPAN3, launched in 1997, provides additional public affairs programming to digital TV customers. Since then, C-SPAN’s programming has broadened to include in-depth coverage of the federal government’s executive and judicial branches, national and international public affairs events and extensive coverage of campaigns and elections. In 1993, C-SPAN created as a comprehensive online resource for public affairs information, and in 1998 Book TV, devoted to exploring the world of nonfiction, was launched on C-SPAN2.

    Providing unedited and balanced access to public affairs is still our main goal. The network offers viewers an opportunity to see public policy events as they happen, often in their entirety and without any commentary from us. Our philosophy is unique: we allow viewers to judge events for themselves and to critically assess current issues.

    Good luck on the hunt today!



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