When’s the best month to go for a job?

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Winning at job hunting takes organisation, preparation and plenty of perseverance.

Timing counts too, as there are definitely specific times of the year when it’s easier to bag your next key role than others.

As this information can help you know what to expect during your time as a candidate, let’s take a look at the seasonal trends in recruitment.

When are most jobs posted?

Who hasn’t had that ‘New year, new you’ feeling on January 1st? The start of a new year is a time for fresh starts and positive changes - including looking for a different job.

Luckily, just as many people join the job hunting club in January, that’s also when the largest volume of job searches is - one recruitment survey tracked 9.4% of listings appearing in this month.

This January recruitment rush is something we definitely see at HR GO. Our insight for successful new year job seeking? Although you’ll have the greatest choice of roles in this month, remember that competition will be most fierce – so work even harder to stand out from your rivals.

When are fewest jobs posted?

The run-up to Christmas is known as a time for parties, festive jumper days and a slight dip in productivity levels… rather than new roles opening up.

No surprises then that December is often the quietest month for job listings, with most recruiters preferring to wait it out until January.

Another reason for this? Often, staff decide to wait it out, get all they can from their office festive season, then spend the Christmas break reevaluating whether they want to move elsewhere.

So if you start to think you’d like to make a move one December, here’s our advice: Be proactive, getting your CV sorted to be ready to pounce in January.

And of course, remember roles still do come up in the month of tinsel and Christmas soundtracks. With most people distracted by Christmas it could actually mean less competition for the roles that do come up.

When are seasonal jobs advertised?

Many employers - including in the retail, warehousing, tourism and hospitality sectors - are on the hunt for extra staff to support them in busy periods in the lead up to summer and Christmas.

For summer jobs, get ready to apply before the warm weather arrives. And if you fancy spreading some Christmas cheer in a temp job, keep an eye out for adverts in October and November. We’ve written about some of the transferable skills a temp role over the festive season can give you (read more here), as well as how this kind of role can be a great way to transition to full-time work.

What about summer?

With lots of people off on holiday, you’d expect July and August to be slow months for permanent job adverts (although some employers do need extra temp staff to fill holiday cover).

To balance this out, there seems to be a spike before summer, from May to early June. So while everyone else is planning their sunshine getaways, keep your job-hunting antennae switched on.

And autumn?

Early autumn, when schools and colleges go back, is another busy time as everyone returns to work.

If you’re a parent who’s been away from the formal workplace bringing up a family, when your child starts school in September you might decide to get your career back on track.

There tend to be plenty of full-time and part-time positions up for grabs so it can be like a ‘mini-January’. 

But actually is there a perfect time?

Although prime hiring time seems to be January, our advice is to not overthink the timing. There’s always a good month to attack your job search head on: and it’s whenever you need to.

Keep your focus laser sharp (and your CV 100% up to date) even during the ‘slow’ months, as that could turn out to be when your dream role pops up.

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