The rules for job searching are different in January

It's the busiest time of the year for job searches. This is how to get ahead of the competition.

The rules for job searching are different in January

Develop a job search strategy for the new year.

The holiday decorations are tucked away and fond memories from a whirlwind month of December have begun to fade; you’re back into a work routine.

Video call invites begin to bombard in your inbox, and your kitchen table is back to being your desk. Sadly, the same pit-in-the-stomach feeling that beckoned you to look for a new job before Thanksgiving—then temporarily subsided amid the holiday chaos—has re-emerged.

There’s no ignoring it now. It’s like someone yelling on speakerphone, and there are no more distractions to put it on mute: You’ve got to find a better job. Not only will it lift your spirits, switching jobs is also one of the quickest ways to get a larger paycheck.

The good news is that despite the continued pandemic, there are jobs out there. The bad news is that you’ve got some competition: January marks the busiest job search month of the entire year. 

The right time is right now

The top job search days are consistently in January (the other top days are in February), making it apparent that a lot of people equate a new year with a new career.

Don’t let this discourage you from applying—but do use it to develop a job-search strategy. The more things are in your control, the better you'll feel about your job search. 

Send your resume soon(er)

Generally you should apply to a job by close of business the day you see the listing—but this month, try to get your materials in within the hour of seeing the listing. Stressed? Don't be. Take a breath.

One part of the job search that you can control is your application materials. Recruiters review resumes upon submission, and if you postpone your submission in order to create the ultimate cover letter or update your resume, you’re potentially losing out on an opportunity. This is always true, but it’s especially true in times of high application volume (like now). If you wait to apply, your prospective employer may be already in the midst of the interviewing process by the time you apply. Don’t delay when you see a job listing you like; you snooze, you lose.

Assume the recruiter is actively looking to fill the role; and take that same fervor to fuel your search as you pursue new opportunities. Make sure your resume and cover letter reflect your most recent accomplishments, promotions, and skills

Be on auto alert

Another thing you can control is your stress level. Get the jobs to come to you so you don’t have to fear you’re missing something good. Could you use some help? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can get job alerts sent directly to your inbox so you can apply as soon as something catches your eye. Additionally, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Let Monster help you start the new year on the right foot.

Good luck out there!