When’s the Best Time to Find a Job?

Michael Gallagher April 4, 2018

Job hunting can be all about timing, knowing when to drop in is all about recognizing patterns.

If you were to ask your job-hunting savvy friend which month is the best time to land a job, “January” is a likely response. While that’s a well-informed – and even somewhat valid – answer, it begs further explanation.

The fact of the matter is: predicting the future, in most cases, falls short of qualifying as a science. Job openings sprout up regardless of the season – terminations, retirements, and resignations aren’t typically seasonal. Therefore, the collective job market could be said to be a chaotic system.

One of the fundamental principles of Chaos Theory is that complex patterns can emerge from the chaos. The same is true for hiring trends.

How to time your job search (if you have the luxury)

Job seekers are like surfers, floating out in a sea of possibilities, waiting for the next set of opportunities to come rolling in. If you’re going to learn to surf, you need to know when to jump on a wave.

Of course, embarking on a job hunt isn’t always a choice. Whether you’re considering a change or the victim of an unforeseen layoff, understanding the ebb and flow of the job market can ease your anxiety, or help you decide when to put out feelers.

  • Seasonal patterns do Some companies need to make new hires in alignment with cycles within their industry. As a result, in most job markets, hiring tends to increase starting late in March, all the way through October – peaking in June. In contrast – and support of your savvy friend– January is known for a boost in hires, thanks to abbreviated courting periods brought about by less competition.
  • Don’t neglect January. The beginning of the year is a time for many HR departments to assess their talent needs. With that in mind, January is an excellent time to do your own research, and link yourself into forums and communities that companies of interest are involved in.
  • Finding the sweet spot. On average, it takes about 40 days to hire a new employee, but often much longer. In most industries, businesses step up their recruiting efforts 2 to 3 months before their busy season.
  • What’s the best day of the week to look for a job? Why? Because that’s when companies tend to post jobs and hire new employees. Job seekers who are actively on duty tend to be the first to respond to the new job posting, thereby increasing their likelihood of being invited to an interview.
  • Every day has an 11:30 a.m. deadline. Most job postings are launched at 11:00 a.m., with most of the applications arriving about three hours later. So, do you want to be at the front, or end of that line? Applicants submitting their resumes between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. are more likely to be seen by recruiters.

What about the interview? According to a Harvard study, earlier in the day is better. The logic behind this method is based on how we tend to make comparisons. Research suggests that once the bar is set, we judge the options that follow more harshly. So, if you’re equally qualified, and you and your competitors do just as well in your meetings, the first to interview is more likely to win.

While there certainly are nuances to every job market, don’t let them discourage your job hunt. Fortunately, even the lowest hiring months are only about a third less active than the highest.

Regardless of the season, if you’re looking for your next career move, Mankuta | Gallagher can help lift the guesswork out of your process. For more information, or to submit your resume, connect with us online today!

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