People search for new jobs for all sorts of reasons, and the simple fact is, if you’re unhappy at your current job, you should look for a new one! There is never a wrong time to start your career search. But finding a new job can take a lot of time and effort, and you may want to maximize your strategy to ensure you get the greatest results.
When to look for a new job isn’t just about personal factors — there are real cycles to the hiring process, and they’re important to take into account. Depending on your industry, there may be a peak hiring season when it’s easier to find work. In addition, the time it takes for an employer to respond to applications may take longer in different seasons, and business budgets play a role in how many jobs are open. We’ve organized the year by season and broken it down for you. Here are the best times to apply for a job:
What month do employers hire the most? You’ll find your answer in the winter. If “new year, new job” is your resolution, you’re in luck: January and February are the best months to apply for a job. Companies have new budgets, promotions have been given, and all sorts of opportunities open up. Wait until the end of January to be sure the holiday slump is over, and be aware the process can be slower this time of year.
Speaking of the holiday slump, December is usually the slowest month for hiring activity, and November isn’t far behind. It’s easy to see why: With holiday vacations, shopping for gifts, and taking time with family, no one is around to look at your resume! On top of that, many businesses are closed more than usual around this time due to holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
If you’re wondering how to find a new job quickly, March, April, and May are peak hiring months for many companies. Reviews are done and new projects and initiatives have been mapped out, so companies know where their personnel gaps are. Plus, college students are graduating and looking for internships or entry-level work, and competition is high. You’ll often find the process is quicker than in the winter months.
Seasonal industries will pick up their hiring in the spring, as well. Tourism and hospitality companies are always busier in the summer thanks to family holidays. Construction is another industry that will be hiring in the spring — warmer weather means more projects to work on.
Looking for a new job? It’s going to get tougher during the summer. Just like around the holidays, the simple fact is, everyone is on vacation this time of year! This makes it much harder to conduct interviews if more than one stakeholder needs to be involved, which is typical for most companies. Interviewing and hiring processes will usually slow down. Of course, industries will always differ. This certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t any jobs to be had. The process just might take longer and you may have to look a little deeper this time of year.
After the summer slowdown, hiring goes back up! In fall, hiring activity typically increases as people return from summer vacations and many student employees go back to school. Companies often have a lot of work to catch up on, which can be good for finding a part-time job or a temporary position. However, this also means managers might be busier, so the process may take longer.
Keep in mind, hiring at organizations that are involved with the federal government, such as contractors, may actually go the opposite way. They may report their financials at the end of September, to align with the federal government’s fiscal year. These companies could have an autumn hiring freeze as they prepare their budgets.
You can always be working on your job search, even during slow months. Try to use slower periods as a time to do research and build up your network in order to get ahead of the game. Take a course like resume writing or work on your leadership skills to take your career to the next level. Then, when the time is right, apply. Good luck!
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