By Maurie Backman
The Motley Fool, December 29, 2018 —
A better position could be yours soon, but you’ll want to search strategically.
Maybe you didn’t get the raise you wanted this year. Or maybe your company compensates you fairly, but you feel you’re in a dead-end role, and want a shot at some upward mobility. No matter your reason for wanting a new job, now’s the perfect time to start focusing on your search. Here’s why.
The right time to pursue your dream job
When you’re attempting to get back on schedule and recover from the holidays, searching for a better job might seem like the last thing you want to do. But if you wait too long to get your resume out there, you could end up missing out on key opportunities. That’s because hiring tends to peak in January and February, since at that point, companies are back up to full staff after the holidays and typically have their budgets renewed, thereby opening the door to more positions.
And if you’re planning to look for a job as soon as 2019 kicks in, you’ll be in good company. Monster.com reports that in 2018, eight of the top 10 busiest days for job searches all occurred in January, while the two remaining days took place in February.
Here’s some more data that might help guide your search: Most new job listings are posted earlier in the week, says SmartRecruiters, with Tuesday being the most popular day. Monster.com, however, says that searches tend to peak on Wednesdays, which means that if you wait until midweek, you might put yourself at a disadvantage in applying for positions that might otherwise be perfect for you.
Another thing: Nearly 60% of candidates apply to jobs the first week they’re posted. Now, that’s not particularly surprising, but what it does mean is that if you wait too long to send your resume in, you might miss your chance to get in on that initial round of interviews.
Ideally, the above information will help guide your job search so that you’re going about it effectively. That said, if you really want to increase your chances of landing a new job in 2019, you should probably make a point of scanning those job boards on a daily basis. Sure, Tuesday might be the most common day for new jobs to get listed, but that doesn’t mean the perfect role for you won’t go live on a Thursday or Friday.
Have a few different versions of your resume up to date and ready at all times so that when you do see an opening that’s of interest, you’ll be able to jump on it. For example, if you’re not sure whether you want to apply to a market research role versus one that’s more advertising-focused, draft resumes that target each type of position. Furthermore, have a basic cover letter ready to go so that you can quickly make adjustments and fire off your applications without delay. Jumping in early on in the process is generally a good way to ensure that your applications aren’t discarded because too many viable candidates have already been identified.
Finally, don’t give up hope if you don’t find that perfect job early in the year. Just because January and February are popular months for searches and hiring doesn’t mean plenty of opportunities won’t pop up down the line. And remember, you’re better off holding out for the right role than settling for something mediocre because you’re afraid you won’t find a better option.