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The Importance of Time In The Job Application Process

Published: Wednesday 15th January 2020

When it comes to the job application process, there are many factors that may influence a job seeker’s chances of succeeding in getting noticed and make it to the interview stage. That being said, there are periods of the year, week and day that are better for hiring than others depending on the recruitment cycle.

Businessman or job seeker review his resume on his desk before send to finding a new job with pen, necktie, glasses and digital tablet.

Personal circumstances, career progression opportunities, a desire to take a break; there are a number of things that can influence when people choose to apply for a new job. But from a recruitment perspective, when is the best time really to start applying? With unemployment still relatively high, answering this question is crucial to stay ahead of the curve and succeed in your job search.

The best months to submit a job application

New year, new job? – Speaking about the time of the year, January is a great month to start sending applications. The beginning of the year is the perfect time for getting hired in most industries and the best opportunity for a fresh start. In fact, January 7th has a reputation for being the most popular day of the year for people to look for a job. In addition, that’s when many companies get their new hiring budget.

February – Not every manager is eager to start the hiring process in January, so February is the second month in winter, which is ideal and still a busy one. However, job seeker competition levels tend to increase by 12.5%, hence acting fast in January could truly pay off.

Job Application Apply Hiring Human Resources Concept

April and May – The closer you get to summer, the more stress companies face to complete the interview process and hire the perfect candidate for their vacancies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, April is one of the “hottest” months in recruitment. So, job seekers should keep at it and try to overwhelm the interviewer’s expectations. A little hint to bear in mind is that most companies hiring for the summer post their jobs by May, so if you’re looking for a seasonal job, then start applying in May, not later.

September and October – During these months, recruitment picks up momentum as autumn represents the third, and final, hiring spree of the year. HR managers are back in the office after the summer hols, having more time available for interviews and applicant screening.

November and December – Finally, another quick hint is that November and December are great months for job seekers interested in seasonal Christmas jobs or those who want to be proactive for the January spike.

The best days to submit a job application

Young successful businessman reading received sms message from colleague while working at modern laptop computer

According to surveys, the best days of the week to submit your application are Mondays and Tuesdays. In fact, studies have found that 30% of candidates who applied on Mondays received an interview. Tuesday on the other hand, is considered to be the most popular day in terms of job posting from recruiters with the most job adverts going live. And in case you’re wondering, the worst day for job search is Saturday, as data reveals only 14% of candidates who applied on Saturdays ever made it through to an interview.

The best time for job seekers to apply

Speaking about the time of day, data shows the busiest and most effective time for job search is between 10am and 2pm. It also confirms the fact that early birds have more than a +10% chance to get an interview, whereas the less effective time for job hunt is after 4pm.

Hour glass and calendar concept for time slipping away for important appointment date, schedule and deadline

That being said, the best overall strategy is not to be the first to apply right when a job advert gets posted. Typically, what happens is managers and recruiters see what comes in, evaluate it and then wait to see what else comes in. The first person is likely to set the benchmark, but you don’t necessarily want to be that person. However, you don’t want to apply too late either. Hence sending your job application CV between 12-24 hours after a job is listed online, and during typical business hours of the industry you’re targeting is the best way to succeed.

Top tips for a successful job application

In the meantime, here are some top tips from our job search consultants for how to go about standing out whilst applying for new UK jobs:

Take back control in your job search – Two big things to remember are to apply to jobs in the first 3-4 days of a job posting, whilst also aiming for before 10am (in the employer’s timezone).

Work smarter, not harder with Zoek’s jobs cart – Take advantage of Zoek’s unique Jobs Cart feature and apply to up to 10 jobs all in one quick click of a button! That way you can manage your time a lot more efficiently and benefit by submitting more applications during the recommended hours.

Work Smart Effective Planning Production Working Concept

Craft a catchy subject line – It is important you make sure to keep an eye on detail even when it comes to the simple things, such as subject lines. A clear, concise and creative subject line will help you cut through the noise and up the chances of your email getting read.

Do your research and proofread – Although it is rather obvious, it is still one of the most important aspects, so check your CV describes what sets you apart from other applicants, rather than just writing a list of previous job descriptions or keywords that sound good.

If you are looking for your next job, visit Zoek and kick-start your search today. And if you have interviews coming up and don’t want to leave anything to chance, then visit our Info Hub for more career advice, top tips and news.

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