As the year comes to an end, the phrase, “New year, new you,” is increasingly common – and for a lot of people, that “new you” includes a new job. There are many reasons why you might consider changing jobs, and there’s good news: You’ve picked the right moment to start looking.
Job seekers aren’t the only ones with hiring on the mind right now. The start of a new year is the busiest hiring season for employers. This means it’s also the best time of the year to search for a new job.
January tends to be the best month to find a job – it’s a productive month for hiring managers since they’re working with updated budgets and goals. Therefore, it makes sense to focus on your new year job search during that timeframe.
Although it’s not quite as busy as January, February is also a contender for the best month to find a job for the simple fact that every new position can’t be filled in January. So, if you don’t land a job right away, don’t give up too soon.
However, there’s a chance you could miss out on the busy hiring season if you don’t have a job search plan. Even though businesses are increasing their recruitment efforts, the high volume of applicants requires a solid strategy for standing out from the competition.
The early months of the year give you unique opportunities to shine that you won’t usually find in the summer or fall. Of course, there are job search hacks that apply year-round, but when you’re looking in January and February, you’ll want to keep these six job search tips for the new year at the top of your mind:
You’re probably already thinking of other resolutions around this time, so make sure you include your career aspirations in your list. Whether you’re identifying potential employers, the roles you’d most like to have, or just a target number of applications to send out, setting goals will keep you focused during your job search.
It may seem obvious, but you won’t get far in your search if your resume isn’t up to par. Take advantage of any time off you take from your current job in late December to make sure everything is up to date. Check that your work history is current, your responsibilities accurately reflect what you do, and add any new skills that you’ve gained. If you’re pressed for time, use a resume builder tool to create a high-quality document quickly and easily. And don’t forget to customize your resume for every position to get past a company’s automated Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
When the holidays are over, seasonal and temporary workers will be leaving their jobs. Many of those positions will remain closed, but some will need to be filled, so exploring businesses with seasonality is a strategic place to start. You’ll usually find the most turnover in the retail and logistics industries in January once holiday shopping has died down.
With an increase in resignations, your current employer may have openings they’re trying to fill. Lateral moves to a new job within your company can provide the fresh start you need, or you can try to secure a promotion. If you want a completely new career, checking out the open positions in other departments is a smart first move. Businesses often prefer internal hires, so you’ll have a leg up over external applicants.
If you see a job posting that interests you and you think you’d be a good fit, don’t hesitate to apply. Remember, there are numerous applicants searching for new positions just like you, and if you wait too long, your application might get lost in the crowd. That’s not to say you shouldn’t apply if the opening has been up for a while, but you increase your chances of landing an interview if you submit your resume early.
Applying early isn’t guaranteed to get you an interview – hiring managers are busy. If you don’t hear back after a week, reach out to the company to ask about your application. Being proactive shows enthusiasm for the position and could give you the push you need to move you along in the hiring process.
January and February may be the best times of the year to search for a new job, but that doesn’t mean finding the perfect role will be easy. However, if you stay proactive and follow the above job search tips for the new year, you’ll be in a better position than most. For more career advice, head to our Job Seeker Resource Center.