Best Times Of The Year To Look For A Job

By Andre McNeil | February 02, 2012 AAA

If you have been job hunting and have had no positive results, it could be because your targeted employers are not hiring when you applied. Unbeknownst to most job applicants, some companies limit their hiring process to certain times of the year. Some companies hire during seasons when they experience high volumes of customer contact, and others schedule their hiring process to coincide with company timelines, such as at the end or beginning of their fiscal year. If you are in the market for a job, consider the following. (For related reading, see How To Remain Positive In A Job Search.)

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Seasonal Jobs
Most retailers actively hire seasonal employees during major holidays so that they are adequately staffed to service shoppers. For example, department stores may need additional staff during Christmas, Easter and other holidays during which the shopping volumes are high. If you are looking for a full-time job, these may not seem appealing to you. However, if you impress your supervisors, they could lead to full-time positions. When applying for these jobs, do so well in advance of the season, as these companies usually staff in advance to allow time for training.

Hiring by Profession
Some companies hire new employees in order to meet customer demands for professional services. For example, income tax firms may hire new employees at the end of the calendar year in order to be prepared for the tax season. Financial institutions may hire during the third quarter of the year to ensure staff are fully trained to handle calls about transactions that must be done by the end of the year.

In some cases, companies hire based on market demands. For example, if the housing industry is booming, building contractors, architectural firms and bank loan departments may need to hire new staff to handle increased demand from consumers.

Government Contracts and Unusual Events
Check your local newspaper for announcements about large government contracts for projects in your area, as this will likely mean new jobs. You should also pay attention to unusual events, such as if oil is discovered in your area. For example, a recent CNN article discussed a large increase in jobs in North Dakota, which is the result of an oil boom. (For additional reading, see Hot, High-Paying Career Sectors.)

Low Volume Season May Work for You
The summer seems to be the period when most job applications are inactive, and some companies put their hiring processes on hold. While this may seem like the least favorable time to apply for a job, it could work in your favor as not all employers put their hiring process on hold. During the high-volume seasons, employers have a large number of applications to review, which makes it hard for your application to stand out. But, if you submit your application during the low-volume season, you are more likely to stand out if your application is done properly.

The Bottom Line
While these are good suggestions for when you should ramp up your job search, the best time to look for a job is anytime. Companies are always hiring for different reasons, including the need to fill vacancies left by employees who change jobs. Therefore, you always have a chance of being hired even during the off season.

The best approach is to submit your applications all year round if you can, and to as many companies as you can. Doing so will increase your chance of being hired. (To learn more, check out 5 Ways To Make Your Resume Stand Out.)

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