Time it Right

New data reveals timing could be key to a successful job search

With the global workforce still in the middle of The Great Resignation, one company has uncovered new data that suggests jobseekers looking for their next opportunity may need to take a strategic approach to finding their dream role.

Specialist cloud technology recruitment firm Frank Recruitment Group has looked at the number of job interviews and placements made with them in the last 12 months, finding some significant results. March saw both the highest number of job interviews arranged as well as jobs placed, with September seeing the next highest number of placements made, closely followed by November.

“For any professional seeking their next role it suggests hiring isn’t just about your ability, but it’s about timing, which means a degree of strategy is needed for the savvy jobseeker,” said the firm’s Chairman and CEO, James Lloyd Townshend. “We all know that summer can be affected by hiring managers taking summer vacation, while winter can be a tough time for jobhunting as companies start to wind down towards the end of the year. So it’s imperative that you add value to your personal brand in these periods, rather than becoming downhearted by any potential lack of opportunities.”

Investing in yourself as a professional won’t just help you to stand out during the application stage, but spending the quieter times focusing on other things such as industry certifications will also increase your market worth when it comes to salary negotiations. Daniel Callaghan, CEO and co-founder of employee screening platform Veremark agrees that it’s a time for strategy rather than panic.

He said: “Quieter months needn’t be idle months. They can be used to research companies you might want to work for and to ready your CV and LinkedIn profile for scrutiny. Both of these should match, without any unexplained gaps in your education or career history. Unaccounted for periods get flagged as discrepancies during screening—18% of UK candidates failed background checks due to inconsistent employment histories last year—and you won’t want to unwittingly slow down the hiring process.”

So what are the other ways to ensure you get noticed? Andrew Arkley, founder and Director of CV writing company Purple CV, says it’s important to tailor it each time to match the company’s website and job description. “Read them thoroughly,” he says, “and pick out keywords and phrases to include in your CV. You can also tailor your previous experience to fit the skills they’re looking for.”

He also suggests keeping your background rooted in real-world examples. “Try to use facts and figures throughout, that support your statements and demonstrate your value to the hiring manager,” he adds. “These examples can come from your previous work history or from your education experience and extracurricular activities—however, it should have a professional tone. Avoid using the first person, and keep in mind that including too much personal opinion or using informal language can put recruiters off.”

Once you’ve done that, and triple-checked it for the basic mistakes and typos that can look careless to potential employers, Daniel suggests sitting back and being patient. “There is seasonality to hiring,” he said. “In part this is dictated by the habits of hiring managers who need to be present to write job descriptions and oversee interviews, but also because they want to make sure their ads are seen by the largest talent pool possible. That’s why the number of job ads drops during typical holiday seasons such as July, August and December—March to April, and October to November are our peak months for screening candidates.”

In short, the evidence suggests that finding the perfect job really could come down to timing. So, the advice for those looking for their dream role isn’t just to be ready for that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come up, but to understand why it may be taking so long to appear and use that time wisely to prepare.

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