By Laura Bristow
If you are looking for a job but took the summer off because you heard it is a bad time to look for work, you must be happy that Labor Day has come and gone so you can get back to applying. Could there really be one season that’s better for job hunting than another? Conventional wisdom may say yes – holiday times, summer, and budget cycles could quiet down employer postings. But if that were the case and you timed your job search by the season, you would have less than half the year to make any progress!
Consider this more unconventional bit of wisdom: not all companies run on the same annual cycle. For example, spring is busy season for industries like tourism, hospitality, and construction which means winter is peak hiring time. In summer you might see an uptick in openings at accounting firms because they are past the frenzy of the spring’s tax season and are more focused on hiring and training. And if a company’s fiscal year ends in mid-summer and includes bonuses, that company could see an exodus of employees who take their money and run – leaving behind vacancies to fill.
Even if you do find that the pace of interviews slows during certain times, you can still be productive. Why not give your resume the once-over looking for ways to customize it, or research companies that interest you, or check out volunteer opportunities that could get you closer to people who can help you in your search.
There is another rule from the “olden days” of pre-internet recruiting that is no longer valid. Sundays used to be THE day to see job openings in the Employment section of a newspaper. Now, almost all companies post their positions on multiple online sites and new jobs get posted daily, which means you should be checking them throughout the week.
Ultimately there is no seasonal constraint on the most effective job search technique of all: networking. In fact, your network may have more time to meet with you during so-called slow seasons.
Openings are indeed out there year-round, even if hiring managers are on vacation. Which means the best season to start a job hunt is the one when you decide it is time for you to find something new.
The JCS Career Center offers comprehensive employment services to help job seekers of all abilities and skill levels find and maintain employment or change their career. Services include career coaching, career assessments, resumes, interview preparation, and connections to employers who are hiring. For more information, call 410-466-9200 or visit jcsbaltimore.org.
Laura Bristow is the Director of Economic Services for JCS.