Timing is one of the most critical aspects of job hunting. You don’t want to drag your feet when an opportunity appears, but you also don’t want to be caught unprepared.
To help you strategise and boost your chances of getting hired, here are some of the best times to apply for a job.
At the Start of the Year
January and February are popular months to look for work because new year, new job, new life. But more importantly, it is during those months, companies start hiring and, with predetermined budgets and forecasts, may open additional positions.
During this time, job seekers can be more selective with the roles or companies they want to pursue. Or they can cast a wide net and try applying for every opening that interests them.
If you decide to apply for jobs in January or February, make sure you have prepared months before. Brush up on your skills. Keep your resume, cover letter, and other documents up-to-date. Tap your professional network for job leads. Expect to face tough competition from people who are also looking for better opportunities at the start of the year.
Months Before the “Job Season”
Some industries or companies ramp up hiring to meet seasonal labour demands. For example, farms require harvesters, drivers, and other seasonal agricultural workers. Likewise, malls, stores, and delivery companies make sure to be fully staffed for the holidays.
Tax season is a busy time for accountants and those engaged in tax preparation. Resorts, summer camps, and music festivals also offer part-time or full-time positions.
Hiring happens months ahead of the anticipated surge of staffing demand. So align your plans with the timeline of the jobs you are eyeing. For example, be on the lookout for retail job postings in September or August. Prepare yourself to go through recruitment processes for summer jobs in the winter.
On a Tuesday
Submitting your job application on this day is strategic. Based on this 2015 study, companies post their job listings on a Tuesday that happens to be when most candidates apply for a job. According to the same study, Tuesday is also when hiring decisions are made.
How about the other days of the week:
- Monday is another best day to apply for jobs per other surveys. Note that it is the start of the workweek, so the first few hours of the workday can be pretty hectic for hiring managers.
- Wednesday and Thursday are also opportune times for sending resumes. Wednesday is another popular day to post job listings, and both days are in the middle of the week.
- Friday is tricky because it’s a day for finishing tasks. Also, job applications would have piled up by then.
- Saturday is the least popular day to send an application by email. So expect that any emails sent over the weekend would not be noticed until Monday.
In the Morning
If there is an auspicious day, there is also an optimal time to hit your application’s “send” button. One widespread practice is to make your submission early in the morning so that it is one of the first things that the hiring manager sees in their inbox.
Anytime between six o’clock and nine o’clock in the morning may work as it is still early in the shift. If you miss this window, aim to send your resume around noon but not later than two o’clock in the afternoon. If you have no other time, send your application in the evening.
These are guides based on standard office practices, like morning meetings and end-of-day reports. In addition, being aware of time zones is helpful for freelancers whose clients are based anywhere in the world.
When You Have Built Your Skills
Your hard and soft skills are your leverage when you apply for a job as they keep you competitive and show you as an attractive candidate to potential employers.
If you are a college student, recent graduate or someone looking to start a new career, internships are one way to build and hone your skills. Interning helps you gain work experience, boost your resume, and secure your first-ever role. What’s more, you can intern abroad in the comfort of your home with remote internships.
Learning is a constant feature of your professional life. You never really stop improving yourself, even if you have accumulated years of experience. In addition, striving to be the best at what you do enables you to negotiate better salaries and benefits.
Any Time Is the Best Time
There is no particular best time to apply for a job. However, the time is always now, especially for jobs advertised online and expected to draw many candidates. In that regard, submitting your job application without delay is the best option.
Having an updated resume, along with other work documents, saves time. Don’t forget to tailor your resume to pass human judgment and recruitment software and land you an interview.