One of the most inaccurate pieces of advice for job seekers I hear again and again is that December is the worst time of the year to look for a job. Instead, as the common knowledge goes, the best time to apply for a new job is in January when companies have settled their hiring budgets for the new year and are looking to take on new employees.
The problem with this logic is, however, that just because businesses may set new budgets at the beginning of the new year, does not mean the beginning of the new year is the ideal time for candidates to start applying. Depending on the industry and location, an effective job search can take 90 days or more. You do not want to start looking in January only to end up finally landing a new job in March. This is especially true if you are currently unemployed. For every week you are without a job, you are missing out on all of the potential income you could be making. There is seldom a good excuse put off the job search until later. Start early and start strong if you want to take advantage of any potential opportunities.
No matter the time of the year, companies are always looking for new workers. Employees quit, retire, or get fired, and positions need to be filled fast no matter what time of year it is. According to the October jobs report, more than 161,000 new jobs were added to the American economy, with the strongest increases seen in health care, professional and business services, and financial activities. Additionally, the number of discouraged workers, those who have stopped looking for work because they believe there are no jobs available to them, declined by 178,000 from the same period last year. More and more discouraged workers are coming out of the woodwork and rejoining the labor force.
Consider this good news for all job seekers, whether you have been out of work for years, or are a successful business person looking for a career change. While not yet released, the November jobs report is expected to show even greater job growth of approximately 170,000 new positions.
Regardless of what time of year it is, there are always available positions that businesses and organizations are looking to fill. The longer you wait to begin the job search process, the more you will miss out on these opportunities. With the common wisdom being that December is a poor time to look for a job, you can also be guaranteed that there will be less competition. Just because business may slow down in some industries toward the end of the year, does not mean they are going to stop looking for new hires. Companies are looking for candidates who can start at the beginning of the new year when business ramps up, not one or two months later.
Don’t underestimate the holidays as an ideal time to network. With business slowing down in some industries, important contacts may have more time on their hands and be willing to meet with you. Attend holiday parties of any professional associations you may belong to, you never know who you may end up meeting. Reach out to friends and family during holiday gatherings.
With the new year approaching, we wish you the best of luck on your job search. It is never too early to start looking for a new job, whether it is because you do not have one, are tired of your current one, or just want a change of pace in your life. Remember, a key to getting that initial interview is having a great resume that highlights your skills, accomplishments, and potential. RazorEdge Resumes offers free resume consultations and an array of services geared towards the motivated job seeker .