Finding a new job can often be an exercise in frustration. Sometimes, job-seekers can struggle through months of anxiety and disappointment as they experience rejection time and again. If that’s ever happened to you, then chances are that you’ve wondered why. The fact is that you can have the perfect resume, excellent interview skills, and still experience the job-search drought. But why is that? The answer may be something as simple as your job search timing. To improve your timing, it’s important to understand the best and worst months for any job search effort and what the peak hiring season is.
Job Search Timing is Vital
Many people don’t even recognize that job search timing matters. That’s understandable, of course. After all, a company either needs new employees or it doesn’t – right? If only it were that simple! For while it is true that companies across the country do bring on new hires throughout the year, there are times when that hiring pace is more frantic than others. When you understand how job search timing works, you can better plan your job hunting efforts.
Here are the hiring trends by month:
The Best Months to Look for a Job
Let’s start by reviewing the best months to look for a job. Obviously, each of these months has different reasons for providing fertile ground for job-seekers. In addition, the pace of hiring may speed up or slow down in different weeks. Overall, however, your job search timing will be much better when you’re seeking a job in the following months.
January Gets Things Rolling
If you’re surprised to hear that January is a great month to search for a job, you’re not alone. It does seem somewhat counter-intuitive. After all, there is typically a labor market contraction in the first month of every year. Still, January is an important month when it comes to your job search timing. With the holidays behind them, many companies begin to start the hiring process. That makes it a good time to get your resume out there.
Of course, you should make sure your resume is ready to be submitted before hiring begins in earnest. Check out this great post to help you figure out what hiring managers want to see: Top Resume Trends in 2017: What Hiring Managers are Looking For.
February Hiring Picks Up the Pace
With the New Year now in full swing, February hiring picks up quickly. So, if you were savvy enough to get your resume in sometime in January, you can expect hiring managers to start getting serious about filling those open positions this month.
March Continues the Trend
March hiring isn’t always as robust as the month before, but it is still a great opportunity to land that perfect job. You should continue to apply for the jobs that interest you, and be sure to follow up with hiring managers. Line up as many interviews as you can!
April Hiring Springs into Action
April is the peak month for that early hiring push, so continue to send out your resume, make those follow-up calls, and try to get your name in front of hiring managers. If you don’t start your efforts until the end of the month, however, don’t panic: May might still be a winner for you.
May Gears Up for Summer Needs
As noted above, your job search timing may be optimal in April, but there’s no need to worry if you find yourself looking for a job in May. With the summer months closing in, many companies are ready to do their summer hiring. Remember, many of those hiring managers will be on vacation at different points in the summer. They need to get this hiring done as early as possible.
September Reignites that Hiring Frenzy
September is a big month for your job search timing. The summer job search doldrums are coming to an end, and hiring managers are returning from vacation. At the same time, the kids are heading back to school, and everyone is settling back into their routines. The first part of the month is a great time to begin your search. That will set you up nicely for a productive job search at the end of the month and in early October.
October Provides Steady Opportunities
October is the best part of the fall when it comes to job search timing. A lot of companies want to get new hires on-boarded in the fall to prepare for the holiday season. As a result, you should see a greater return on your job search efforts in October!
The Worst Months to Look for a Job
Naturally, there are certain months that offer a less positive outlook for your job search efforts. If your job search timing causes you to be looking for a job in these months, be prepared for a little added frustration:
June Starts the Summertime Slowdown
June bridges the divide between spring and summer – and it also marks the downturn in hiring for the first half of the year. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find a job in June – many still do – but if you can align your job search timing to avoid looking in June, you should do so.
July Offers Little Hope for All but the Most Motivated
As July arrives, the summer is in full swing and many hiring managers are thinking less and less about adding new employees. Besides, many of those companies do so much hiring in the spring that there are few open positions to fill. Still, it is possible to locate employment in the summer, since most job seekers relax their efforts too.
August Remains Slow
August continues that summer trend, and is often worse than July. Company vacations are a major concern at this point, and few companies schedule interviews. Again, you might find employment in August if you press on with your efforts, but don’t bank on it.
November Stalls as Thanksgiving Approaches
November is a bit of a mixed bag. For many companies, the early part of the month is still active from a hiring standpoint. However, that trend has cooled off in a major way by the time Thanksgiving has arrived.
December Offers Little Warmth for Job-Seekers
If your job search timing has you seeking employment in December, best of luck to you! The fact is that your reception is likely to be downright frosty during the holiday season. Does that mean that you should abandon the search, though? Never! Believe it or not, some companies that want to hire during the holidays report that there aren’t enough people looking!
Job Search Timing – By the Seasons
If you noticed a definite pattern in all of this, good job! Overall, job search timing often hinges on identifying that ebb and flow that takes place over the course of any year. Hiring picks up after the first of the year and accelerates throughout the end of winter and into spring. It then slows during the summer months, before reigniting as fall begins. By the time the holidays arrive, it slows again. If you can time your search to match those changes, you may be able to maximize your odds of locating a job.
At the same time, though, you should recognize that companies hire during every month of the year. In fact, you may at times have an advantage by looking during those slow times. After all, many job seekers will be avoiding those slow times too. That could help you to stand out from the competition. Generally, though, you will be more likely to have greater success during months in which hiring is at its zenith.