Did you know that the calendar year has a typical cadence for job searching, and that during some months you’ll probably see more job postings than in other months? If you are currently job searching or have been casually checking-in on job boards over the past few weeks, this is why you might be feeling frustrated.
January and at least the beginning of February (sometimes all of February) are slow for job postings. It’s the beginning of the first quarter and organizations are returning from the holidays. Employers are likely focusing on tying-up the previous year, establishing and implementing plans for the year ahead, and generally, getting back into the groove of work after having had a few weeks off.
March through June tend to be busier times for job postings. You will likely see more job postings than you have in the previous weeks, and may hear back from recruiters more quickly than at other times in the year.
July and August are slower periods for job postings, as people go on vacation. With fewer teammates available for interviews, recruiters might delay posting roles and reaching out to potential candidates.
September and October are more like March through June, with more job postings. Companies realize that this is their last chance to get the word out and hopefully hire talent before the holidays.
And of course, in the U.S., those holidays come in November and December, the fourth quarter, when hiring is slower again due to the volume of end-of-year work organizations manage.
What does this mean for you?
You are likely to see more job postings in September and October than you have seen in August. However, with COVID and the current state of the economy, there will likely not be as many postings as in previous years.
The key to job search success during this period of uncertainty is to make yourself the most compelling candidate possible: research your industry/function, develop points of view for hot topics in the industry, and learn to clearly articulate the value of your experience and unique skills.
What many of us have now that we didn’t have pre-pandemic is additional time that we’re not spending commuting, participating in business events/travel, and meeting-up with friends. Let’s use some of this time to reflect on what we really want and to make some of those professional goals happen.
Is there a better time of year to job search?
Generally speaking, there is not a "good time of year" or "bad time of year" to be job searching. Rather, there are different possibilities available to you during different times of year. Right now (August), there are less active job postings for you to apply to, but contacts might be available for informational interviews and networking calls (especially if their teammates are on vacation and the weekly team check-in meetings have been canceled). Use this time to get clearer on what you’re seeking and to create your network.
During a time of year with more job postings, like March and April, there might not be as much time for you to create your network. Instead, you might spend your time reviewing job postings and quickly applying, so you can be considered as a candidate. While that might sound appealing, you won't have the time to think about how that job could fit into your greater career path and to really consider if it's the right next step.
Photo by Elena Kloppenburg on Unsplash