What Are the Best and Worst Times of Year to Look for a Job?

what are the best and worst times of year to look for a job

Overview

What Are the Best and Worst Times of Year to Look for a Job?

What are the best and worst times of year to look for a job? Don’t feel like reading? Listen here!

Searching for a new job can be one of the most stressful things you ever do, especially if you need the income to pay the bills fast. 

While there are many factors that influence how easy (or how difficult) it can be to secure a new job, the time of the year plays a major role. Generally speaking, some months of the year will make it easier to find a new job than others. So when are the best and worst times of year to look for a job?

Let’s answer this question right away: January and February are usually the best months. Meanwhile, the holiday season and the middle of summer are usually the worst times to look. 

But what specifically makes January and February the best months to start your job hunt? What makes the rest of the year not as good? We’ll answer those questions below.

What Makes January and February the Best Months?

The beginning of the year is the best time to look for a job across most industries.

By the time the New Year holidays are over, people are coming back to the office and getting ready for the start of the new year.

Hiring also picks up during this time because most companies have fully determined the jobs they need to fill for the year and have appropriated the necessary budgets for them. 

best and worst times of year to look for a job tips

In other words, you’re likely to have the most opportunities for finding a new job in January and February than you are the rest of the year.

This is when companies are hiring, focusing hard on new applications, data-driven recruitment, and setting up video and phone interviews. 

There’s another commonly overlooked reason why January and February are the best hiring months: many people seeking to switch jobs will often wait until January to put in their two weeks so they can still collect their end-of-year bonuses. As a result, this is the time of year when the newest job opportunities open up. 

But Don’t Give Up on March Through May 

It’s true that January and February are usually the best months to go job hunting. But that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to giving up over the rest of the year. The remainder of spring can still be a decent time to apply for jobs. 

That’s because the ‘hiring surge’ that always starts after the New Yearstill continues over the remainder of spring, even if not quite as strong. Plenty of companies across industries line up job interviews over this time.

And especially with summertime on the horizon, many hiring managers feel the pressure to get all their new job candidates locked in before the summer officially hits. That’s because it will be harder to wrap up a business’s hiring process over the summertime (especially in July and August) when many people will be on summer vacation. 

job search

What About the Rest of the Year?

Don’t give up on the rest of the year, either. Just know that June through August is almost always the hardest time of the year to find a new job. This is when there are simply fewer job opportunities, and companies are not as focused on hiring. More people (both hiring managers and workers) are away on summer vacation as well.

But if you’re stuck in a situation where you need a new job right away, you’re not likely going to be too picky about what time of year it is. You don’t want to have to fall back on credit to stay afloat because, as a general rule of thumb, you never want to exceed 10% credit utilization to keep your credit score in good standing. If you’re in need of a job during the summertime, you can and still should be applying for work. 

The September through November months are when the hiring season starts to pick back up as people return to the office and the summertime fun dies down. The first part of November especially, is when businesses want to make their final hires of the year, and it can be a good time to secure interviews.

The hiring season will start to slow down again around Thanksgiving and become almost completely stagnant throughout the rest of December.

During this time, businesses and hiring managers need to figure out budgets and the available positions they’ll have to fill for next year.

As a result, December is a better month to prepare yourself—and your resume—for the upcoming job hunt at the start of the year, than it is to actually apply for work. 

best time to look for job

Summary of the Best and Worst Times of Year to Look for a Job 

In summary, these are the best and worst times of year to look for a job:

  • January and February: These are the best months of the year as there are more job opportunities and companies start up their hiring processes; this is also the time when most people will switch jobs as well, so it opens up more opportunities.
  • March–May: Still a decent time to go job hunting; the end of May especially is when many companies try to wrap up the hiring before the start of the summer season.
  • June–August: Generally one of the worst times of year for job hunting, both because there are fewer opportunities and because hiring managers aren’t as focused on hiring. 
  • September–November: Arguably the third best time of the year for job hunting; the start of November is when many companies seek to make their final hires for the year.
  • December: This is when companies are figuring out their budgets and hiring positions for the upcoming year; not the best time to secure new job interviews.

Wrapping Up

As a final piece of advice, don’t overthink it. This is a guide that’s meant to help you in finding a new job. But at the end of the day, don’t be discouraged if you have to go looking for a job during the months that are normally not considered to be the best time. After all, if you need to get a job, you’ll be looking no matter which month the calendar says.

Nahla Davies
Nahla Davies
Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

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