New Year, New Career? Is January A Good Time To Look For A New Job?

Megaphone man shouts to the word JOB. Hiring and job search concept.

Happy New Year!

As we welcome in the New Year, many of us also embark on a quest for self-improvement and change. With this often comes diets, fitness dvds and quitting smoking. For some however, it even takes the form of a career change. It’s no surprise then that January is such an incredibly popular time of year for job applications.

Data collected by CV Library shows a significant spike in January job application rates:

  • London was found to experience a 35.8% increase in applications in January 2017 vs December 2016
  • Birmingham saw job applications spike as high as 68.9%
  • The 7th of January has even been dubbed by many as ‘National Job Hunting Day’

But a rise in applications also means more competition for the job in question! So, is January really the best time to start updating your CV and making a career move?

1. There Are More Job Vacancies To Choose From

It is not just potential new employees who are looking for new opportunities. Employers are also looking to expand their businesses in the New Year, feeling extra motivated themselves after the Christmas break and recognising that early January is a popular time for job applications to be received.

Businesses often set and renew their budgets within early January, allowing for extra staff members to be taken on board. Or, following the New Year spirit of change, current employees may have handed in their resignations, also opening up vacancies. Keep your eyes peeled for positions that interest you as new advertisements pop up: sign up to job searching platforms (Indeed, LinkedIn, Reed), look on company websites and don’t forget to check windows for poster advertisements.

2. Employers Are More Likely To Actually Read Your CV

Every company or business will of course have their different busy periods throughout the year, depending on the products and services that they provide, but the New Year generally is a quiet period for most businesses. Employers are well rested, and their to-do list perhaps hasn’t yet built up too much. Consequently, business owners and recruiters can appoint more time to reading through your CV, allowing for better recognition of your accomplishments and potential as a new employee.

However, still try to keep your CV as concise as possible, to avoid a potential new employer quickly glimpsing through it and missing your key strengths and achievements. If appropriate, bullet point your CV so employers can easily digest information.

3. A New Year Mindset Improves Interview Performance

A more focused and determined version of you will likely perform better in an interview scenario. Now that the mania of December is over, you will hopefully be in a good head space and have the time to better prepare yourself. Here are a couple of interview tips to help you prep:

  • Get a friend or family member to run through a practise interview with you
  • Plan your route to the interview beforehand to avoid being late and never arrive more than 15 minutes early.
  • Ensure that you adequately research the company so you know what you are talking about if asked questions.
  • A few days before the interview, print out your CV and go through it thoroughly, so that you’re not caught out in the interview
  • Plan your personal grooming. A well-polished appearance helps to create a positive first impression. Why not make the most of the January sales and buy yourself a smart new outfit? Consider what current employees of the company wear to deem what sort of outfit is most appropriate.

4. It’s A Good Time To Train For Something Completely New

Assuming you manage to bag yourself the job, the January lull should hopefully allow for you to receive a higher quality of training. For many businesses, January and February are their slowest times of year, and so employers and other staff members will likely be more able to dedicate their time and attention to you so it’s a great time of year to do a complete career change.

Businesses will be able to appoint more time to introducing you to their policies and procedures and answer any questions you might have. You will be able to make the most of the quiet time to get accustomed to your new role and responsibilities.

5. Beat The January Blues With Greater Job Satisfaction

In the New Year, we are all usually in a much more positive frame of mind, giving us more confidence in ourselves and a more open attitude to new tasks and new people. Going into a new job with an enthusiastic outlook will allow you to see the very best in the new opportunities that you are being given, rather than stressing and fretting over the little issues that a more pessimistic frame of mind brings.

A new career is a fantastic distraction and brilliant mood booster as the weather gets colder and the January Blues start to kick in. A new challenge, a new routine and a general change of scene can make us feel refreshed and help keep us motivated throughout the rest of the year.

The Final Word:

Whether you’re feeling a bit lost, or you’re feeling particularly motivated, starting your job search this January is a great way to hit the ground running in 2019. New opportunities, better training prospects and a boost to your overall mindset could be just around the corner – happy job hunting!


If you found this article useful, checkout our post on Profitable Hiring Practices From Successful Entrepreneurs to get the low-down on what it is that employers are searching for in potential candidates.

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