There are good times and bad times to apply for a job—even a best time. While it isn’t always an option to wait for optimal timing, it’s always good to keep the rhythm of the market in the back of your mind when you find yourself ready to search.
January/February: The Best Time to Apply for Jobs
Across a wide variety of industries, this is a great time to apply for jobs. People are slowly working back into things after the holidays, but the pace begins to pick back up mid-month. You’re most likely to get a high number of decision makers in the office at the same time at this time of year.
Also: many companies get their new hiring budgets in January, and tend to delay their hiring activity until they get a sense of what they can afford. Side benefit: you’ll be sure to get your December bonus from your old job if you stick it out another month or two.
March/April/May: Still a Good Time to Apply
The closer you get to summer, the more pressure a company is likely to feel to hire someone. People in the company will need to go on vacations without leaving their coworkers stranded in the lurch—and without leaving a hiring decision undecided.
June/July/August and November/December: Not the Best Time to Apply
There’s a huge drop in interviewing and hiring in these months. Managers and decision makers are often on vacation and it’s hard to get a team together for an interview.
There are jobs to be found during this time, of course. Just keep in mind you’ll have to work a little harder if you’re starting out your job search at the height of summer. Be patient with delays and postponements. You might even stand out more easily among fewer applicants!
September/October: Hiring Picks up Again
Hiring tends to happen in waves. After the summer drought, there will be a flood of interviews and open positions. Fall speeds up after the summer slowness, so the process can move more quickly and smoothly at this time of year. In fact, the fall is almost as good as January/February.
When in doubt, start blasting out your applications in the last two weeks of December—and be at the ready to interview a lot in the new year.