New Year, New Job? Why January and February are the Ideal Months

Sometimes you need a fresh start!

Once the madness of Christmas is over, it’s traditionally time to make some New Year’s resolutions. Often, these involve losing weight, breaking a bad habit, or swearing to find love.

But many people are also determinded to get a new job, having spent the previous year simmering with rage, boredom or frustration.

So, when’s the right time to send off that CV and cover letter that will get you hired?

We teamed up with CV writing service Purple CV ( who have researched the best time of the year to apply for a job.

The awesome team over at Purple CV created a handy infographic to illustrate this.

Because most people want to hit the start of the new year running, it turns out that January and February are the ideal months to submit your application.

This is because the holidays are over, and everyone’s back in the office, including the people who make the decisions about what new staff they need. Conversely, it’s also when many people hand in their notice – thereby creating a vacancy, which you could fill! It’s also a good time to go for a higher level job, or ask for a promotion, especially if you’ve become indispensible to your firm.

The only downside?

There will be a lot of competition, as there are lots of people looking for a new job – so it’s not a bad thing to leave the process till February.

Having said this, it might be best to avoid the first week of February; so-called ‘National Sickie Day’ falls in the first week of February, (when sick rates supposedly peak due to post-Christmas blues and horrid weather). It seems that this time is used by those to apply for a new job as this week sees almost a fifth more interviews than any other time of year.

There are a few other good times throughout the year to apply for a new job, including between April and June – industries that depend on good weather, such as tourism or hospitality, and the constructiontrade, are gearing up for the summer months, when they’re busiest, so this is their peak hiring time.

In other industries, there may also be a bit of a recruitment rush to ensure newstaff are taken on before everyone starts to go away for summer.

If you’re in need of a fresh start, autumn is also a good time to start your application process, especially around September and October – also a peak hiring time as the summer holidays are over and everyone is back in the office. This works out well for univeristy graduates, as many companies like to hire grads fresh out of college, so there are usually more vacanies available in September.

If 2016 is anything to go by, October is an even better month than September with the number of vacanies advertised in October increased 2.6% over September total – this is perhaps part of the new seasonal trend in the UK, fuelled by the adoption of Black Friday and the early recrutiment of additional festive workers.

Then, in November, certain industries will be thinking about hiring extra staff over the Christmas period, such as retail, hospitality, and of course, the Royal Mail – well those millions of Christmas cards aren’t going to deliver themselves! And for some lucy people, these seasonal jobs could turn into permanent positions, if you work hard (as you do) and impress the boss…

So when are the times to avoid applying for work?

March isn’t great, as all the new year vacancies have been filled, but the worst time is over July and August- on-one will be undertaking the hiring process because so many people are away on holiday. However, while you might think December is a terrible time, as everyone is just so focused on the run up to Christmas, there will still be some vacancies available, and probably less competition for them, as eveyone else is obsessed with partying and shopping! So it’s worth trying to schmooze some useful contacts and maybe set up some meetings in the new year.

For 2017 specifically, it’s a good idea to apply for jobs before March. The most recent edition of Labour market Outlook from the CIPD indicates that, despite some contraction, short-term employment growth is set to remain strong. But the outlook is less certain after the end of March 2017, when article 50 is set to be triggered. This could be yet another reason why the beginning of the year is likely to be an excellent time for a change of career scene.

‘Getting a new job is never straightforward’ says Andrew Arkley from Purple CV, ‘but it’s always good to know any information that can give you an advantage! If you plan ahead, and apply for a job at the right time, you might find that 2017 turns out to be the best year of your career!’

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. With a background in PR working in Los Angeles and Barcelona, Charlotte has been running Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden for the past 8 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a little too much time into her morning brew.

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