As we begin a new year, it can be helpful to know the best
times of the year to look for a new job. The academic job market has a unique
timeline with the majority of positions being posted in late summer/early fall.
For non-academic jobs, we have often remarked that hiring tends to happen on a
rolling basis. Even though that is true,
according to this Indeed
Career Guide, there are optimal times of the year to be searching for positions.
Here is what you can expect season by season:
As you may have suspected, hiring tends to slow down for the holidays. In fact, December is historically the slowest month for hiring throughout the whole year. This is in large part because many people take leave during this month and there tends to be a more relaxed feel to most departments as the year ends.
Quite conversely, January and February are the top months to get hired. Much of this comes from a renewed spirit in the new year as well as a renewed budget. While many job seekers tend to report a lull during the first half of January, this tends to disappear by February.
The late momentum from the winter hiring tends to extend through the spring months of March, April, and May. Often managers feel a pressure to bring people on before the summer period.
Much like December, the summer months of June, July, and August tend to be a bit more challenging when looking for work. Summer tends to be a peak vacation time, and this is felt by job seekers and new hires as coordinating interview schedules can become more drawn out and the overall hiring process feels a bit longer. This can feel especially true depending on your location in the world. In many European countries, office shut down for the whole month of August.
The months of September and October tend to mimic the hiring activity in January and February making fall another productive job search period. The fall often feels like a second renewal. Often this is the start of the academic year and there is a feeling of returning to business. This high trend will continue until early November.
Remember that each company has their own needs and different sectors may follow different trends. Hiring can still happen as needs arise which could be at any time of the year. Recognizing the peaks and the lulls can save you from feeling overly disappointed if your job search isn’t progressing as quickly during a certain period of time.