If you think of your job search as a sales process, and you really should because it is, one of the best times to try to make a sale is when the competition is not paying attention – or, at least, not competing with you as much as they usually do.
The Best Times to Job Hunt
Competition for jobs is the least intense two times of the year. And, those “slack” times are GREAT times to job search!
Most job seekers slack off during two times of the year. I’m not saying they’re slackers (although they might be), but I am saying that they are making wrong assumptions about what employers are doing during those 2 times.
As a consequence of lessening their efforts, these job seekers are costing themselves FABULOUS opportunities to connect with employers and probably extending their job search for longer, possibly MUCH longer, than it needs to be!
Perfect timing for you to move in and land a new job…
Summer is “sleepy” time in the job search calendar for many job seekers, particularly July and August. Although fewer job seekers are searching, the level of jobs available does not drop off dramatically! Yes, it does drop a bit, but it does not as much as the level of job seekers looking for jobs drops off.
Typically, when you are active in your job search during the summer, you run into much less competition than you do during Q1 and Q2 (January through June).
Organizations that are very busy in the fall, like education, retail, and hospitality, are recruiting during the summer.
So, during the summer months while your competition is at the beach or backpacking through the mountains or, if they can afford it, touring Italy or Hawaii or some other place a long way from home, they are NOT job hunting! Which means they are not competing with you.
Take advantage of this opportunity because it won’t last long. Come September, they’ll be back to “reality,” and the competition will heat up again. In September, everyone seems to wake up, and competition increases substantially. So, beat that September rush!
Don’t forget the businesses, like tax preparation, which are also ramping up both training and hiring as they get ready for the new year business rush. If you are thinking of working for an organization like H&R Block, the IRS (in the USA), or other year-end/new-year related business, look for opportunities and training during the summer so you don’t miss out on the jobs visible later for people who are qualified (trained).
2. “The Holidays” at Year End
Usually, the number of job seekers who continue their efforts during November and December of every year drops dramatically, particularly between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The assumption job seekers are making is that employers are busy doing their holiday stuff.
So no one is hiring during the holidays, right?
Typically, employers continue to develop opportunities and decide they need to hire people, particularly as they work on their annual budgets and plan for the next year. Employers are ramping up for the new fiscal year, hoping to get everyone in place so they can have a really great new year. Yes, people are on vacation during this period, but they are also less likely to be traveling if they are NOT on vacation.
Can you say “OPPORTUNITY”?
Timing of This Year’s Easiest Job Market?
If you remember # 2, above, November and December are the months the fewest job seekers hit the job market. With July and August (# 1 above) the next slowest.
So, of course – low job search traffic = minimum job competition.
Timing of Every Year’s Toughest Job Market?
The same as it is every other year – the absolutely worst time to job hunt is in January – January of any year, and every year. So, now is a better time to job hunt than back in September and, looking ahead, better than next January.
Ask anyone who runs an employment-related Website. Traffic is typically the highest during January and September.
Highest job search traffic = maximum job competition. So, January and September are when you face the greatest competition in your job search!
It’s like everyone waits for the bowl games to be over, and then they jump into the job market, feet first! Maybe a job search is one of their New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe they hate the thought of another year in the same job, working for the same employer. Maybe it’s just because it’s Winter and there’s nothing better (?) to do.
About the author…
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 2011, Susan has been editor and publisher of WorkCoach since then. Susan also edits and publishes Job-Hunt.org, is a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a columnist on HuffingtonPost. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+.