A Job Hiring Timeline: When is the Best Time to Begin?

Wondering when the best time to start a job search is? The answer differs for everyone. Some students are knocking down the career center door as soon as they begin their freshman year. Other students begin their search just weeks before graduation. The important thing is to start when you feel ready. That way you can put all of the necessary energy and resources into the job search process and end up with the results you’re looking for. 

Some employers have early recruiting timelines and job application deadlines. We typically see these early deadlines in the investment, banking, and accounting industries. Employers in those industries start recruiting early in the fall semester and are making offers by November. Many of these employers also recruit heavily from their internship programs, so pay attention to internship postings the year prior to starting your job search if these industries are of interest to you. 

There are many employers that do most of their recruiting during the spring semester as well. Employers who might do more spring semester recruiting are:

  • Smaller organizations that don’t have as structured training programs
  • Employers in the arts, media, and nonprofit industries
  • Employers who prefer to hire recent grads

In addition to early and later recruiting timelines, many employers hire throughout the year to backfill open positions due to internal movement, and growth of the organization. 

All of that to say, that again there is really no “right” time. You can start to make this decision for yourself by taking a look at where you stand in your career development journey; have you used the resources that the Center for Career Development offers such as resume & cover letter reviews, mock interviews, career counseling appointments, and more? Also, where do your interests lie as far as employers and industries? What do their recruiting timelines look like? 

This is a good time to be sure you are practicing networking along the way as well. Networking is useful before you have started your search so gain an understanding of which employers and industries might be of interest to you. Networking is vital during the job search itself. According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Yale University report, 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking. Networking throughout your career is also helpful to ensure you are continuously learning and growing on your career journey. 

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