Why January Is a Good Time to Look for a New Job

Woman holding up a resume in front of her face.

Image source: Getty Images.

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Maybe you’re unhappy with your current job. Or maybe you want a salary boost, so you can build savings and better manage your expenses. There are plenty of reasons to seek out a new place of employment. And if you want to do that in 2021, it pays to job-hunt at the very beginning of the year.

Get in early

January is a great time to get hired. The reason? The start of the year is when a lot of companies’ budgets renew, and that opens the door to hiring opportunities. 

Additionally, people tend to return from the holidays focused and refreshed. That means hiring managers may seek to fill open positions that have lingered. While there’s no guarantee you won’t manage to get a job in February, March, or beyond, if you apply for new roles in January, you’re starting at a time when there’s often money and need. 

Of course, you should approach that job search efficiently — especially if you’re engaging in one while also maintaining an existing job. Here’s how.

1. Start with an updated resume and compelling cover letter

When you’re looking for work in a tight employment market, a cookie-cutter resume and cover letter won’t suffice. If you’re serious about landing a new job, spend some time updating your resume to focus on the skills you’ve mastered, and the value you bring. You can also cut out any less-important details (like a stint as an ice cream shop employee during high school) that you stuck onto your resume when you had less experience. 

Similarly, be prepared to spend time on your cover letter. Talk about what you’re passionate about, what you’re looking for in a job, and why you’re the ideal candidate for each role you’re applying for.

2. Network extensively

The more people you connect with during your job search, the more likely you are to learn of opportunities. Some people make the mistake of only reaching out within their industry — in reality, you never know who knows someone useful, so cast a wide net. But also, make your intentions clear. Be specific about the types of jobs you’re looking for so your contacts know how to help you.

3. Be persistent and follow up

At the start of the year, hiring managers are likely to find themselves overwhelmed with resumes. Don’t let yours fall into a pile. Instead, follow up. You don’t want to get too aggressive, but a gentle check-in email here and there could help move your application forward. 

A new job could open the door to many opportunities, all the while improving your finances and quality of life. If you’re set on finding a new role in 2021, get started in January. A little hustle at the start of the year could pay off big time.

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