The Best Time of the Day to Apply for Jobs

Finding a New Job | February 27th, 2019

The typical job seeker applies to job opportunities when it’s most convenient. If they’re employed, job seekers generally apply to new jobs in the evenings and weekends; while unemployed job seekers likely apply first thing in the morning.

Although these times may be convenient, research has shown they don’t have the best odds for getting a response to an application.

An analysis by TalentWorks showed online applications sent in at 7:30 a.m. had just a 3 percent chance of triggering an interview. Resumes sent in after 4 p.m. were shown to have a 5 percent of less chance of leading to a call back. The study also showed the best time for applying to a job is around 10 a.m.

Consider the following job application tips based on research by TalentWorks and others.

Early bird gets the worm

Anyone with an email inbox knows it can get filled up pretty quickly. Also, we tend to notice the emails we get in the morning more than the ones we get at night.

Research shows that a job seeker can stand out if their resume is one of the first ones to hit a hiring manager’s inbox for a particular job. Therefore, it’s important to jump on a job posting as quickly as possible.

However, if your work schedule only allows for job searching at night, it’s best to hold off on sending in any applications until the morning – when it’s most likely to get noticed.

Aim for after lunch

While the TalentWorks study showed the best time to send an application is between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., the research also showed a slight increase in response rate at around 12:30 p.m. This finding correlates with other research that lunchtime messages also get a greater response rate, probably because people tend to catch up on email that had stacked up all morning after lunch.

Don’t forget about time zones

An important factor in the TalentWorks study is it was done based on local time for the hiring manager. That might not be a big deal if you’re applying locally, but it’s a massive deal if you’re applying to jobs across the country or across the ocean.

A good subject line is key

Even the most perfectly timed resume email doesn’t stand a chance if you’ve botched the subject line.

First and foremost, you need to follow any instructions on the email subject line that were provided in the job posting. If the posting asks you to include the phrase ‘IM A SUPPLY CHAIN NINJA,’ make sure you include that specific phrase, punctuation and all.

To further boost the odds of your email getting a response, use a clear and accurate subject line. Make sure it’s relevant and includes keywords, including the job you’re seeking, to help the hiring manager spot it and find it later.

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