The Best Time to Apply for Jobs

Are you thinking about changing careers, or think it is about time to start hunting for your next position to take you further in your career? Have you given any thought to when the best time to look for a new job is?

There are definitely some times in the year which are better than others for hunting for work. We are going to tell you exactly when the best time is and give you a heads up on the worst times as well, so you can hopefully avoid them.

This being said, there are still always people leaving jobs and changing positions. New opportunities are being created as companies replace staff, expand projects or need to add new skills to a team. So, there are always jobs out there and if you are looking for work there is no reason to stop just because it is not the best time of the year. Everyone would agree that there is no perfect time to look for a job and job seekers should always be actively looking.

The Best Time to Apply for Jobs

Right now though, let’s take a look at the hottest times for hiring. We are going to go month by month through the year.

January and February rule

The first two months of the year can be an ideal time for landing a new position in many industries. This time of the years appears to be the best period of the year for job seekers. January starts slowly, with jobs being posted more in the second half of the month, then it picks up even more in February.s

It seems to be a time when the advertising, interviewing and hiring process run quite smoothly and quickly too. Decision makers are in the office and looking to get the year off to a good start, so keen to hire and get people on board quickly.

A couple of further reasons these two months are so good is that many companies get their new hiring budgets for the year in January, and after the slower December holiday season, anything that was delayed can get moving again. Since December is also the season of annual bonuses, many people will assess their situation in January and perhaps be leaving their positions, prompting new hires. Firms are aware of this pattern and now expect to need to hire new staff in January.

However, Workopolis also warns that competition is high in January, saying that: “your odds of getting hired in January are negatively affected by the fact that so many people launch new job searches at the beginning of the year. This causes greater competition for every available job.” Moving into February, it has a higher than an average number of job ads posted.

March, April, and May

These months are also very good times to be seeking and apply for jobs, as there is still some momentum from the January and February peak. Workopolis still notes March and May as having higher than average job ads posted. So, you still have many options to line up interviews and get hired, before summer hits.

This is also a very competitive period though, with more people applying to go jobs. Make sure that your resume and interview skills are up to scratch to cut through the competition.

The reason there is so much hiring activity now is that companies want to have everything in place before the summer months arrive. They feel the pressure to finish the interview process and have new staff commenced in the positions, as they know many staff will be heading on vacations over summer and not all the key decision makers will be in the office to complete the process once summer hits.

If you start the interview process in May and some key members of management will be away in June, then the interview and hiring process will likely be pushed higher on the priority list. This is great news for landing a job and if you apply early you may beat some of the competition. You never know though, and it depends greatly on how senior or key the position is as some companies won’t rush a decision and will simply wait until they return from vacation.

Summertime – June, July, and August can be bad times

I think you can see what’s coming here, after giving the reasons for May being a good time for jobs. There is a distinct slow down in interviews and hiring at this time. With managers and various team members away it can be harder to get all the required people together for a face-to-face interview Many positions have also already been filled due to the strong hiring activity from February to May, so the need just isn’t great.

There will still be jobs around, but you might need to be a little more patient and search a little harder at this time. Don’t forget applicants will also be on holidays, so you might face less competition too. Don’t be disheartened, there will always be new jobs coming up. Also, the process of getting a response to your application, the interview and hiring process might move at a leisurely summer pace.

If you are a recent graduate, however, some companies have you in mind, and their graduate hiring programs are set up to recruit when they know you’ll be starting your job search.

September and October aren’t bad

And, now we have an upswing in hiring activity again. As people return from vacation with fresh energy and ideas, everything starts moving again. With nothing to hold up the process, you can find many companies hiring and the interviewing process running smoothly again.

Depending on your industry this period could almost be as good as the January/February period. Workopolis also puts October as having higher than average job ads. It would definitely rate as the second-best time of the year.

November and December are the slowdowns

Again, if you are seeking work just keep looking no matter when it is, but know that these two months are slower again as the year winds down. It is more likely that hiring tasks will be pushed into the new year from November onwards. You will also find that late November and December are another popular time for vacations, so that challenge of having everyone around comes up again.

However, you might also find that you can beat the competition by applying for jobs in the last couple of weeks of the year, so your application is top of the pile when the January upturn comes around again.

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