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While you are not always able to choose exactly when you need to look for a job, it is worth noting the best times of the year to look for a job online. This is because even when you are happily working, you still need to keep a few job alerts on a job aggregator like Adzuna open. This allows you to keep an eye on the market, especially during times of peak demand.
To this end, Adzuna has done some research on when the best times of the year are to look for a job. This was based on an analysis of over 140,000 online vacancies in South Africa. Every industry on the job market, be it engineering or finance, has a certain ebb and flow to its demand and supply of skills. Are some types of skills or jobs always available? The answer is yes, but the catch is that some parts of the year are hotter when it comes to actual hiring, regardless of the demand.
When not to search online for jobs or job hunt
A great deal of companies have much lower activities in December, for obvious reasons, and HR managers are often more caught up in planning other things for staff such as year-end functions than they are interviewing. Thus, if you are a student finishing a course in late November or early December, start searching before the course ends. At the very latest, you should start searching online and applying in October.
On the other hand, don’t stop searching if you do need a job – there are also far fewer applications made during December, meaning that your competition is less. So, set up your alerts and enjoy your Christmas break, all the while applying when you see something you are keen on.
A new year does not mean a new job
January is only the start of the curve – most jobs are added in February each year as HR departments scramble to use up their recruitment budgets before the end of the tax year. You may well be better off with applying for your dream job around February, when the recruitment cycle has started picking up again after the festive season.
So what is the secret of job search timing?
The secret lies in each sector! It depends on what type of job requiring what type of skill that you wish to land.
Adzuna’s research showed that as scholars and graduates are completing their diplomas and degrees from September to early December, the corresponding number of jobs jumps up rapidly and then drops suddenly as mentioned above. This means that again, as a student, you should start your search well in advance.
However, jobs in the public sector do not decline as rapidly and for whatever reason only decline sharply in March. Those looking for jobs as a new accountant, however, can benefit from this time of the year since it marks a spike in the industry’s overall vacancies. Over to the teaching sector, where you would do best to start applying in January, when the academic year starts. The number of jobs in teaching rises by almost 25% straight after the festive season. Similarly, casual positions went up during holiday periods.
General advice when job searching online
Job industries that were always in demand were developers (programming), engineering, senior finance and digital. Overall, job vacancies went down over the middle of the year and thus a graph of skills demand would look a little like Table Mountain had been flattened between Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head.
While we cannot fit all the sectors into one article, the above summary should give you an idea as to when it is a great time to search for jobs in your line of work.
A few timing tips
It’s never a bad time to look for a job – If you are in a cushy job that gives you satisfaction, we are not saying you should look to make a move. But it’s exactly when you stop looking that you take your finger off the pulse of the job market and you start to lose knowledge about what is available to you.
Continuously improve yourself – By checking out the job market, you often come across new skills or courses being required for jobs in your sector. This is incredibly important and can help you to improve yourself.
Get a head start – For students and graduates, sometimes you are forced to take up a seasonal job in order to get one step closer to landing your dream job. A casual role might not seem ideal, but it could lead to a more permanent employment situation or at least get you that first real job!
Thus, the lesson is to think about your industry and skill set, and tailor that to the general high demand periods of September to early December and late January to early April.
Don’t forget that you have no excuse not to apply for a job at any time of the year and it is never too early or too late to start keeping an eye on the job market. You will never know what other opportunities are out there if you do not let at least one job alert do the work for you while you work in whatever job you’re in. Get your CV up to date and keep it ready for when it is needed.