Get that CV ready: January is the best time to job hunt

Colette Sexton, news correspondent at The Sunday Business Post, on why you should be dusting down your CV this month.


If you returned to work this week with particularly itchy feet, you are not alone. January 24, which falls this Thursday, tends to be the most popular day for job hunting in Ireland, according to data from Jobs.ie. Last year, traffic on Jobs.ie was up 44 per cent compared to an average day. In 2016, January 24 was also a busy day for traffic, which was up 37 per cent compared to normal.

Job-seekers will reach peak numbers towards the end of the month. But why is January such a busy time for job hunting? Well, a lot of people wind down in December ahead of the Christmas break and as many firms pay yearly bonuses in December, a lot of people tend to wait to get their bonus before starting to look elsewhere.

After a couple of weeks back in work, many people are motivated to plan for the year ahead and put their New Year’s resolutions into action, so they begin to dust down their CVs.

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Since so many people begin job hunting in January, it might put you off, as the competition can be fierce. But it is a buoyant time in the market. January tends to be a very busy hiring month for employers, and this is only increasing. There was a 13 per cent rise in the number of jobs advertised in January 2018 compared to the previous year, according to Jobs.ie.

Many companies tend to delay hiring in November and December as they wait for their new year recruitment budget to be confirmed, as well as getting their business plan for the year ahead finalised. Once companies return from the break, the hiring process kicks into full swing as very few take holidays in January and so people have more time to review CVs and carry out interviews. Plus, new year budgets mean companies have a little bit of extra cash to play with when offering salaries - make sure to use that to your advantage.

If you haven’t had a look at the various jobs websites and boards recently, now is a good time to see what is out there. Many companies will set job application deadlines for the end of January to give people plenty of time to get back into the swing of things and prepare their applications.

Even if you do not intend to job hunt any time soon, January is a good time to update your CV while your accomplishments from the previous year are still fresh in your mind. Also, pay attention to your online presence. Whether you are an artist with a digital portfolio or a salesperson with a LinkedIn profile, take some time this month to go through how you present yourself online and update it as necessary. This will make the process a whole lot less painful when you do decide to start job hunting.

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