Recruitment cycles – when is the best time of the year to find a new job?

When it comes to connecting with the right job opportunity, timing isn't everything, but it's certainly something. Job opportunities might appear anytime but it certainly helps to know if there’s a certain trend in hiring season.

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Recruitment cycles - when is the best time of the year to find a new job?

What is the best time of the year to apply for a job?

There are certain times in the year that are far better than others to apply for jobs. We’ll have a month by month look at the best and worst times to hope on getting hired.

New Year comes with rewards for job seekers: January and February.

January and February are the best months of the year to look for a job, although maybe not in the U.S., for this year.

These are two of the best months to look for long-term, full-time jobs. These are the months most companies receive updated budgets and sales forecasts. Executives have a better idea of what they need and whether they can afford to hire new team members. Career advisors actually consider these the top months for hiring.

Keep in mind that January might put you off because it starts pretty slow for most people. Employees returning from holiday vacations take a few weeks to re-organize their workflow. Accordingly, wait until the middle or latter part of January to send your resume.

The biggest downside of this first part of the year hiring is the slow pace. The company has plenty of money, time and resources to choose the right candidate. Finalizing the interview and signing the contract may take longer during these months.

March, April, and May:

These months are still very good times to apply for jobs, for several reasons.

The surge in hiring in Jan and Feb usually keeps some momentum until summer arrives, so during March, April and May you can still hope to schedule a few interviews and land that dream job.

However, it also means there’s more competition. More people are applying for jobs, and receiving interviews this time of year probably due to the good weather that gives us confidence that things can change for the best.

Here’s the explanation why this time of year is good in general for landing a job.

As you get closer to summers, companies feel more pressure to finish the interview process and hire somebody. This is because they know people in the company will go on vacation in the summer and it’ll be harder to finish up the hiring process.

Companies are more likely to rush to finish the process with you before they leave on vacation.

This isn’t always the case but it’s a likely scenario that can work in your favor. Obviously each company is different and it’s entirely possible a hiring manager might think of the whole recruitment process something like, “let’s finish this up as soon as I return from vacation.”

June, July and August are pretty tough when it comes to applying for a job

The summer months are usually slower, and typically aren’t one of the best times to apply for jobs. Managers take more vacations during the summer and it’s harder to get a team together to conduct a face-to-face interview or make hiring decisions.

Companies also fill many of their open positions during the hiring push at the beginning of the year (In January-May), so there’s less of a need by the time the summer months come around.

But you shouldn’t be completely put down by this, it’s just that jobs are a lot harder to find right now. You might just be able to stand out due to the fact that there are less applicants during the summer months. Because of this, it’s still worthwhile to do some job hunting in the summertime.

You just need a bit more patience to put up with people being on vacation and other delays.

Looking for Jobs in September and October is usually a good idea

September and October are one of the best times to apply for jobs (along with January and February mentioned earlier). You may ask why…

Hiring happens in waves. Summer was slow, so the early Fall speeds up. Especially as hiring managers return from vacation. More interviews happen and there’s less downtime and waiting. The hiring process is smoother overall and you can get from start to finish faster.

Applying in November and December is the most discouraging

The only thing you should know is that November and December and typically pretty slow times if you’re hoping to get a lot of interviews and see job offers fast. Here’s why…
Hiring managers and HR departments start to put aside their hiring goals and save things for the beginning of next year. They get new hiring budgets in the new year and less people are on vacation so it’s easier for them to wait.

Plus people are lazier in the Winter months in general. I’m sure you’ve felt it yourself.

In preparation for your new job you still can invest in a couple of things that might just make you a better contender for the job you seek. Invest in updating your resume, learning new skills and doing a lot of research on the companies you’ve set your mind on.