Career /The pros and cons of applying for jobs in January

The pros and cons of applying for jobs in January

The phrase goes, “new year, new job”, right? You’ve had time over the holidays to relax, eat your weight in Christmas ham and think about what you want from your career. Come January you’re inspired, motivated and it’s your new year’s resolution to get a new job.

So, should you actually apply for jobs in January when people are just as galvanised as you to make the switch? What are the pros and cons? Well, if you keep on reading, we’ll let you know.


Pro: Businesses need to fill roles that were vacated right before the holidays

Many people end the year having secured a new role and businesses don’t necessarily have the time, resources or energy to fill the role before the Christmas break. Come January, hiring managers have had the time to relax, rejuvenate and get back into the swing of things, which means they now have the energy to fill all those roles.


Con: Not all businesses are back in early – mid January, so there’ll be less roles

We know we just said that businesses need to fill in the roles that popped up right before Christmas, but not all businesses come back to the office in the first or second week of January. Many close for two – three weeks or the people doing the hiring aren’t back until the end of the month, so while there will be some roles out there, there may be some slim pickings. You may have to wait until late January or early February until you find something that’s right for you.


Pro: Hiring managers have more time to read through applications

The year is still early, businesses are slow to get back into business as usual and the work isn’t as hectic, so hiring managers have a lot more capacity than usual. They’ve got the time to read through more applications and read through them thoroughly, rather than giving them a quick glance, giving you a greater chance at getting that interview (as long as your application is up to scratch).


Con: Greater competition for roles

You’re not the only one with the bright idea of getting a new job at the beginning of the year. People are motivated and energised to job search, hustle, interview and do what they need to do to get a new job. You’ll be up against a lot of other contenders for the one role, so if you are applying for roles in January, make sure your cover letter and resume are tailored exactly to the job to beat the competition.


If you want our opinion and you’re in no rush to leave your current position straight away, consider applying in February instead. It’s still relatively early in the year and you can take the time to thoroughly update your resume, plus hiring managers will definitely be back by then and roles will be plentiful once again. But if you’re reading this in November/December and are thinking about making a move, then don’t wait until January – get on to it now!


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