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When is the best time to job hunt?

You could argue that job hunting season is a year-round activity but the truth is that most job seekers are at their most motivated at two distinct times of the year. Find out how to stand out!

What are the peak hiring times in the year? That can vary across industries but, typically, January/February/March and September/October are the most active times for hiring managers.

These are obvious times for job hunters as well, so the competition can be fierce. Of course, you can be motivated at any time of the year, especially if you really want to switch employers or you find yourself in the position of being laid off, but there is definitely a major spike in job-seeking activity during the above-mentioned months.

So, what to do if you find yourself looking for new employment during one of those highly competitive times of the year? Do you consider yourself a skilled job hunter or are you just a bit rusty? Before you enter (or re-enter) the market, you want to make sure that you brush up on the latest and most effective job hunting techniques.

Historically, the go-to places have been the major job sites such as Indeed or Monster, where you post your resume and cross your fingers. And, truth be told, those sites are still quite effective – in fact, we use them on the regular to source candidates. However, there are some more strategic approaches you can take that should benefit you from the get-go and give you a leg up on your competition.

1. Tweak Your Resume

  • We know you know this but it bears repeating. Resume writing is a skill and it doesn’t always come easily to everybody so there is a great temptation to do it once and “set and forget”. Instead, create a “base” resume that allows for modifications that meet the expectations set out by prospective employers. It’s OK to tailor your experience as close as you can to the responsibilities listed in a job and highlight the areas you think are compatible. By mirroring your resume to the job description, you stand a much higher chance of landing an interview!
  • On the subject of resume design (and we’ve seen some wild ones), unless you are targeting a creative position where artistic design is a critical element of your presentation, keep your resume simple and clean. Your experience and skill set are the most important parts of your resume.
  • Make sure that your professional links (LinkedIn, your personal web pages etc.) are robust and up-to-date.
  • If you are working with an agency recruiter, ask them for advice on your resume. We look at hundreds of resumes a week and have an eye for this stuff.

2. Network

Get your name out there! By networking with people in your industry, you have a much better chance of landing an interview via referral than applying through the company’s career portal and waiting to hear back, if at all.

3. Work with a Recruiter

It won’t cost you anything except your time, and we think that’s a pretty good return on your investment (although we might be biased…). Different recruiters often have relationships with different companies, so you may hear about more opportunities that way.

One Last Thing

And, finally, follow up. After applying for a role, look on LinkedIn to see who the recruiter or hiring manager is and send a personal connection request, along with a tailored note to show them how interested you are. If it is a job on Indeed or elsewhere, do a little digging to find the hiring manager on LinkedIn. There are plenty of resources at your fingertips, so update your techniques and get hunting!

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Posted on Feb 08, 2021