The best time of the week to apply for a new job?

Written by
Peter Harris

Published
Oct 18, 2018

Oct 18, 2018 • by Peter Harris

A new study of job posting behaviour, candidate applications and hiring decisions pinpoints midday on Tuesday as your best bet for landing a new gig. Here’s why.

We’ve mentioned before how Tuesday is the most productive day of the week for most people. It turns out that it is also the most action packed day on the hiring front.

The team at SmartRecruiters, who power the recruitment software for major companies in Canada and the US, analysed over 270,000 jobs over the past two years to look for patterns in job search and hiring behaviour.

Their findings show that most jobs are posted earlier in the week, with the heaviest concentration on Tuesdays. That’s also the day with the most applications – and notably, the day of the week when most hiring gets done.

So what’s so special about Tuesdays? The report from SmartRecruiters notes: “Candidates that are actively searching for job opportunities and applying for jobs when they first open will have a greater chance of getting noticed and getting in on the first wave of interviews.”

Their data also shows that nearly 60 per cent of candidates apply within the first week of the job being posted. So the longer you wait, the more likely your application is to get buried under a pile of incoming resumes that the employer may not need – or have time – to read.

The later you apply for an open position, the stiffer the competition you will face. Apparently this is the case not only for the day that you apply for a job — but also for the time of day.

The SmartRecruiters data shows that 11 a.m. is the most common time that employers post their new job opportunities online. Most candidates apply for jobs at approximately 2:00 in the afternoon. So, the best time to find and apply for a new job and get your resume on top of the pile ahead of the competition? Apparently it’s between 11:30-and 12:30 on Tuesdays.

However if you miss that window, there is a secondary, smaller spike in job postings going online at around 4:00pm.

An earlier study from Bright.com indicated that Monday applications tended to be the most likely to lead to job interviews. However, the bottom line remains the same: you increase your chances of success by applying earlier – while the job posting is freshest.

Keep a resume up-to-date so that you are ready to apply when new opportunities that match your skills and career goals become available. (And still take the time to customize it for the role you’re applying for. A tailored, relevant resume will always outshine a generic application, even if the other comes in a little earlier.)

And speaking of earlier, try to schedule the interview for the morning if you can. A recent Harvard study found that interviewers tend to rate the first people they speak with higher than those they meet with later. So if you can meet with your potential employer first thing in the morning when they’re fresh, you’ll tend to make a more lasting, positive impression.

Originally published in Workopolis, July 7, 2015