A successful job search today takes a bit of hustle and a strategic approach. With your resume facing tons of competition for each position, even a slight edge could help you land that interview. It’s a question we hear very often: what is the best day and time to send in your resume and cover letter?
Surprisingly, submitting your job application at a certain day and time can help your chances of landing the interview. You don’t want to catch hiring managers or recruiters when they’re swamped with emails or after they’ve reviewed many other candidates.
We’ve got you covered. We’ll show you the best possible day and time to submit your resume to get a response. This article also includes some other tips to help your resume stand out from the crowd.
What day of the week should you submit your resume?
The best days of the week to submit your resume are Tuesday to Thursday.
You skip the pile of emails that have amassed over the weekend and ensure you don’t send it when they’re wrapping up last minute tasks before the weekend. Even though most companies are using an ATS system to organize resume submissions, the person in charge of hiring may get an email when a new resume is submitted.
Check how your resume performs on an ATS (applicant tracking system) scan with ZipJob's free resume review.
Is submitting your resume on another day of the week bad?
No–but let’s walk through the workweek of your average hiring manager so you can better understand why the Tuesday to Thursday range is optimal.
Hiring managers and recruiters are usually swamped with emails on a Monday. As they catch up on all the weekend emails and try to clear out their inbox, you would have a hard time catching their attention. You also should consider the “Monday blues”–yes it’s true, most people aren’t the happiest or most productive at the start of the workweek.
Remember that the average job post has hundreds of applicants. Some have many more. Factor in that into all the other emails professionals receive and you’re looking at a packed email inbox.
Friday or weekends:
You also don’t want to send your email on Friday as hiring managers finish last minute tasks and prepare for the weekend. You don’t want your resume to end up in that dreaded pile of weekend emails. Weekends are a no-go due to all the reasons above laid out. Either you get lost in the shuffle, or you risk your name popping up on their phone on their day off–that might get annoying!
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday:
During the middle of the week, hiring managers are more likely to have time to read incoming emails (and resume submissions). Sending your resume from Tuesday to Thursday has been found to have the highest open rates. There has also been a ton of research done to back this up.
Hubspot analyzed over 20 million emails for 10 months and here is what it found:
So as you see, Tuesday to Thursday is the optimal time to send your email. This gets your email past the Monday pile and gives the recruiter or hiring manager time to analyze your resume and handle your application.
OptinMonster has a more comprehensive post that looks at Hubspot and additional studies about emails, open rate, and engagement rate. It’s geared toward marketers and newsletters, but much of the advice is good for the individual job seeker, including:
The best time of time and day of the week depends on your audience
Try A/B testing different times to see what gets you responses
Weekday mornings are good for many groups of people
What if I’m not submitting my resume by email?
If you’re applying to a job through a job board or through an online job portal, you’re likely applying through an applicant tracking system. More than 90% of big employers use an ATS of some sort to collect, track, and organize resumes.
In that case, timing is still a factor but you should be more focused on optimizing your resume for the ATS. That way, hiring managers or recruiters will see your skills and experience and how well they align with a certain job.
What is the best time of day to send your resume?
The best time to send your resume is early morning or after 9 p.m.
This ensures that the resume is seen by employers when they first check their emails. Sending it really early in the morning (before 9 a.m.) could be effective as it portrays determination. The hiring manager may take notice that you’re up early in the morning working on your job search.
Some have said that sending in your resume around noon is effective but here is why you’d want to avoid that. The bulk of emails are usually checked before lunch and the last thing you want to do is to submit your resume after other qualified candidates. Hiring managers may have already reviewed possible candidates and invited them for an interview.
You want to come off as considerate and respectful, so we have to mention that sending in your resume during holidays or long weekends is not the best idea. Many have this downtime from work and use it for job searching. Avoid this, as it may annoy the hiring manager and that’s the last thing you want to do!
When it doesn’t matter what day + time you submit your resume
This advice in this article is really useful when you email the hiring manager or recruiter directly. When you apply for a job online it usually goes through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
These automated resume scanners are used by most companies to filter out candidates that don’t match well with the job duties or requirements. They may also send automated messages to inform hiring managers of your application at the time you submit it.
This advice is also useful if you’re sending a direct email after applying for a job. If this is your strategy, check out our tips on how to follow up on a resume.
Sending your resume and cover letter at the optimal time is useful, but you shouldn’t ignore other factors that are more important. Once that resume is in the hands of a recruiter, you want them to be impressed and invite you to an interview!
Applying to jobs online is not as effective as reaching out to the company or hiring manager directly. Read our guide to sending a cold email during the job search (with examples).
Submitting your resume at the correct time and day is an important part of your job search but don’t forget the other (more important) factors. Keep track of the jobs you’ve applied for and follow up on time. Remember that a job search today requires a smart and strategic approach.
As always, good luck with your job search! We offer resume writing services that are guaranteed to land you more interviews. You can check our services page here.
This post was originally has been updated for accuracy and clarity
Caitlin Proctor, CPRW, Certified Professional Résumé Writer
Caitlin joined the ZipJob team in 2019 as a professional resume writer and career advisor. She specializes in strategic advice for executives, career pivots, and remote workers. Read more resume advice from Caitlin on ZipJob’s blog.