Time Off From Time Off

Even though everyone else seems to be heading to the beach or kicking back in a hammock with a trashy novel, there are people who can't afford to take a break: That's right, we're talking about you, Mr. or Ms. Unemployed.

Unemployed people who take a vacation from job hunting this summer risk missing out on opportunities, according to DBM, a global human resources consulting firm. It often takes several months to land a white-collar job, making those summer months too precious to squander for serious job hunters who hope to find something before, say, Halloween.

Katherine Green, a career coach in Chevy Chase, agreed that serious job hunters can't afford to drop the search for large chunks of time. "You don't want to lose your momentum."

However, Green said, breaks of three to five days should be okay, especially if you devote some time to the softer aspects of the job search, such as researching employers and reading guides on how to improve interviewing skills.

Or you could just slip the new Janet Evanovich novel inside your copy of "What Color Is Your Parachute?" No one else on the beach will be the wiser.

-- Mary Ellen Slayter