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Best Time of Year to Look and Apply For Jobs in the UK

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If you’re on the hunt for your dream job and have the luxury of choosing when to look, you’ll want to know the most efficient way to use your time. Because as with so many things in life, when it comes to jobseeking, timing can be everything. 

Wondering what time of year are most jobs posted? And what would be the best time of year to apply for jobs? You’ll find your answers here!

December: The Best Time of Year to Find a Job?

December is a time when many companies are winding down and people are more likely to have their minds on the office Christmas party than hiring a new recruit. In fact, Adzuna figures show that in 2019, December was the lowest month in terms of advertised vacancies.

On the other hand, Adzuna figures also show there are also far fewer people searching for jobs in the run-up to Christmas. With less competition for any job you would apply to, what should you do? Simple – instead of searching through job listings every day, set up an email alert for jobs. Now you can relax and enjoy the holiday season unless the right role opens up.

A similar pattern emerges in August: with so many people off on summer holidays, hiring inevitably slows down. So while you should be ready for any opportunity that presents itself, don’t feel guilty about making the most of the warmer weather – just wait for your dream job to pop up in your email alerts.

New Year, New Job?

January, on the other hand, sees a big rise in the number of people looking for a job (and joining the gym) thanks to millions of New Year’s resolutions being made. And despite the assumption that vacancies go up at the start of the new year, January 2020 saw a 7% increase in monthly vacancies, but didn’t reach the same numbers we saw in November.

This makes February one of the best months to look for a job, as the frenzy from fired-up jobseekers dies down and more vacancies start to go online – there were almost 50,000 extra open roles in February compared with January this year. 

Know Your Sector

The type of job you’re chasing and the industry you want to enter can have a major impact on your chances of success throughout the year.

We tend to see a big boost in the number of graduate jobs advertised when new graduates flood onto the market in September. That’s a mixed blessing for those graduating over the summer – while there are more jobs in September, October and November, there’s also more competition in those months. Graduates who start putting out feelers well before they actually don their mortar boards could stand a much better chance of landing their dream role.

Meanwhile public sector vacancies tend to decline towards the end of the financial year, when budgets are signed off between January and March. This is, however, a good time for those looking for accountant jobs. With all those numbers to be crunched, there’s usually a corresponding increase in the number of jobs in the accountancy sector.

Teachers are probably aware that very few teaching jobs are advertised at the start of the academic year between September and December. Post-Christmas there tends to be an increase in the number of jobs advertised well ahead of the start of the next academic year. The best time to start the hunt for a teaching job, then, is usually in the run up to Easter and before the exam period in mid-June.

These are just a few examples of sector-specific times to make your application. Whatever industry you’re in, make sure you really understand its annual cycle – this knowledge will help you make the best use of your time. 

Some Final Timely Tips

  • Make the most of business-as-usual The best time to look is during those boring ‘business-as-usual’ months.  You’ll find more job ads during October, November, February and March, for instance, so step up your search then.
  • Brush up on your skills – During the slack months you should look at improving your resumé. Try popping your CV into Adzuna’s ValueMyCV tool to find out how much you’re really worth to a new employer, then brush up those weaker areas which need improvement.
  • Get a foot in the door It might not be your dream job, but finding a seasonal role can help you get your knees under the table.  Retailers often recruit like mad before Christmas and Easter, so taking a casual role and proving your worth could lead to a more long-term position.

And most importantly – don’t make excuses. There’s never a perfect time, and it’s never too early or late to start the search, so polish up your CV, shine those shoes and start looking for your next job on Adzuna today.

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