Recruiter Explains Why November & December Are Actually The Two Best Months To 'Aggressively' Apply To Jobs

Most people are blowing everything off at the end of the year. But not those who are genuinely serious about hiring.

job interview during november & december, the two best months to apply to jobs according to recruiters Evgeny Karandaev, insta_photos / Shutterstock; Canva Pro

The job search process is a total pain any way you slice it, especially since companies never seem to be in much of a hurry to actually fill the position. 

And with the holidays coming, the prospect of going through the job application process feels even less attractive. Who has time for this rigmarole during "the most wonderful time of the year"?

But HR professional Bonnie Dilber said it's time to rethink all that. 


The tech recruiter claimed that November and December are actually the two best months to apply for jobs for two major reasons.

That is, of course, contrary to what we all assume as the conventional job application wisdom. After all, the holiday season is when most of us lean hard into blowing off as many things until "next year" as possible.



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But Dilber, who manages a recruiting team for a large tech company and has been in the hiring game for nearly a decade, said the opposite is actually true. It all comes down to two major problems posed by end-of-the-year job postings that make November and December the best months to apply for jobs if you're really serious about getting hired. 

1. Companies only post jobs in November and December if they're urgently trying to fill them either for staffing or fiscal reasons.

If you think applying to jobs during the holidays is a pain, think about trying to actually interview and hire for them — it's an even bigger hassle for companies and hiring managers. While there will be far fewer jobs posted overall at the end of the year, Dilber urged, "If a hiring manager posts a job in November, they are serious and urgent about hiring it." 

Because, of course, all those decision-makers are staring down the holiday rush too. That means it's only worth the trouble to go through the hiring process if they're really serious. 

"They're gonna have their own time off, candidates are off, scheduling gets to be really tricky," Dilber said, so usually companies would "rather wait" until January "unless they feel really urgent about hiring for the role and having that person start in January."




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The other major factor on the companies' side is that, as Dilber put it, "budgets turn over at the end of the year," and many companies have "use it or lose it" policies when it comes to budgeting. "So if they don't make that hire within the fiscal year"— that is, before December 31 in many cases — "then they lose that budget, and so they're going to want to close out the roles that they have open," Dilber said.

2. Jobs posted in November and December also draw far fewer applicants, so you have less competition.

Without a doubt, the most annoying part of job-hunting is the fact that, by and large, your resume just disappears into a black hole along with the hundreds, or even thousands of other applicants. But during the holidays? Well, you just might be dealing with a whole different landscape — for both logistical and financial reasons, just like the companies. 


"A lot of candidates actually opt out of interviewing this time of year," Dilber said. This is because those who already are employed might have bonuses coming or shares that are vesting by the end of the year.

So, Dilber said, they stay put "until sometime in February or March because they want to make sure they get all that money first."



And just like how most workers are blowing everything off in November and December, so are most job-seekers — which means far fewer resumes burying yours in the pile. "With all of the holidays, [job-seekers] also don't want to deal with interviewing and a potential transition and all of that," Dilber said. "And so often, employed candidates are going to wait."


Roll it all together and November and December become the two best months to apply to jobs if you're really serious about getting hired, and getting hired ASAP.

So throw on some holiday tunes and shoot those resumes out between batches of Christmas cookies and handfuls of chocolate Hanukkah gelt. By January you just might end up starting a New Year and a new job.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.