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The BEST Time to Apply for a Job

If you knew the absolute best time of day, or day of the week, or month to apply for a job, you would, right?

The BEST Time to Apply for a Job

Let’s be real here. There’s no silver bullet, perfect time of day, or ideal day of the week to apply for a job, but there IS a step to take when applying that incomparably increases your chances of not only being interviewed, but of landing a job.

Here’s a breakdown to help you understand why the most important step you can take when applying for a job is to get a referral:

  1. Only 4% of applicants take the time to seek out and/or make their referral known.
  2. Out of 100 applicants, typically 50% are unqualified for the job.
  3. That means that only 2% of those with referrals are actually qualified.
  4. This is the ah-ha: 100% of qualified, referred candidates are typically selected to interview.
  5. Interview pools often consist of 4 to 5 top candidates.
  6. If you have a referral and are qualified, you’ll have a 20% to 25% chance of being offered the job.
  7. Without a referral, you have a 1.7% chance of landing the job.
  8. You’ll have to work 14 times harder without a referral.

Don’t these facts make investing the time and energy into getting a referral seem so much smarter than mass applying?

Now, many of you are probably wondering how the heck to get referrals into a company where you want to work, so I’ll extract a piece of what I recommended in Nancy Collamer’s Forbes article, The No. 1 Thing To Do When Job Hunting: “Search LinkedIn to find any contacts you have that either work currently, or in the past, at the company.”

Other article suggestions were to tap into your professional association or volunteer network. Marie Zimenoff, the new owner of Career Thought Leaders (CTL), encourages “building relationships within your target companies before a position is posted so that you already have a referral…”

While some of you may lose interest after gleaning the most valuable piece of intelligence found within this post – to continuously work on building your network so that you have a ready batch of referrals when you need them – I’ve got more to share from the presentation Guiding Clients to Meet 21st Century Recruiting & Hiring Standards: Learning from the Candidate Experience. It was delivered by Gerry Crispin – a pioneer in research on recruitment, employment strategy, the hiring process and staffing technologies – at the 2015 CTL Conference and Symposium I attended in MD on April 17th.

It was thrilling to learn that although it’s moving at a glacial pace, some standout companies are starting to approach the candidate experience as a customer experience.

The gist of it is that the ease with which we can apply online and through our mobile devices has led to a whopping boost in the volume of applicants for each advertised job (up @ 118%, or more than double, in just the past few years).

That huge boost has made companies realize that there’s an ever-increasing number of job applicants who are interacting with their brand through the application process. And they’re not just interacting, they’re sharing their experiences with their friends, their family and anyone else with an internet connection.

So, if a brand wants to build or maintain its positive reputation in the marketplace, it has to start providing a more positive, fulfilling job application process and overall candidate experience. I told you this stuff was interesting!

Another fascinating fact is that companies are rapidly moving away from recruiters. Apparently, only 3% of today’s new US hires come from a third party. According to Gerry Crispin, a leading global financial services firm has decreased its use of external recruiting resources from 40% to just 5% this past year alone.

What does this mean for you? Well, this third party disengagement is largely made possible by LinkedIn, since companies are now hiring and training internal staff to use LinkedIn’s robust tools to source candidates.

I’ll say it again: Whether you’re an active job seeker or simply a consummate professional, get and keep that profile of yours looking hot, because you never know who’s looking at you, kid.

Special thanks to Unsplash for the use of their stellar photo.


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