‘Tis the Season to Apply for Your New Job

September 14, 2017

Seasonality affects everything, including your job search.  With the fourth quarter of the year just around the corner, the season ushers in the most complex hiring dynamics of the year.  There is typically a mix of fall activity and holiday retail hiring followed by a lull between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. 

Here are three reasons the fourth quarter is an ideal time to focus on your job search.


Hiring managers strive to optimize search fees.  Dale Carnegie’s 17th Human Relations principle, ‘Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view,’ is a reminder to think in terms of hiring managers’ interests.  Many of them try to, “…reduce their operating profits by incurring search fees towards the end of each year, to avoid paying taxes,” according to Josiah Whitman, an executive recruiter with Financial Placements of Lake Oswego, Oregon.  This could differ based on a specific industry, so it’s important to research any variations or simply ask a headhunter or someone currently employed in your target industry.  Timing isn’t everything, but it can certainly help.  Bottom line—if you’re looking for a new job, it behooves you to understand annual recruitment cycles to help increase the viability of your candidacy.

There may be a race to fill remaining openings.  Many job seekers simply stop applying around Thanksgiving because they believe it’s too late in the year.  While it’s true that new job hires are at the lowest levels in some industries, many recruiters are still determined to fill the year’s remaining open roles by Dec. 31st.  Because the supply of applicants typically slows down during the fourth quarter of the year, there is a greater chance that hiring managers will spend more time reviewing your resume simply because the pool of candidates shrinks as the New Year approaches. 

By playing your cards right and applying during the fourth quarter, you may increase your chances of getting called to interview sooner.  Better yet—the decision-making process may be faster than usual.  In other words, the odds of the recruiter becoming, ‘genuinely interested in other people,’ Dale Carnegie’s 4th principle, may be greater at the end of the year because the pool of applicants is relatively smaller.

Demonstrate your determination.  Experienced Human Resource professionals and hiring managers are used to a decline in applicants during this time of year.  By applying during the busy holiday season, candidates demonstrate that they are serious about their job search and eager to discuss the opportunity for which they apply.  If you are considering applying for a new role before or during the holidays, use seasonality to your advantage by stating something such as, “Please contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss this opportunity.  I realize we are in the middle of a hectic holiday season, however I am eager to learn more about the role.” 

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