When is the best time to apply?

Published on: 4 September 2023

Monday? Thursday? At 11am or even better at 2pm? In September or January? When is the best time to send your CV? When do you have the best chances as a candidate? And can you really make a difference this way?

People who apply are rarely alone. There are always other candidates sending in their CVs for the same job. They are your current competitors. As a candidate, you naturally make the difference by presenting the right experience. But apart from the content of your CV, can you get ahead of the competition by applying at the right time? And if so, when is the right time?

We're sorry to disappoint you right away. There is no ideal time to apply. If your CV doesn't match the vacancy, recruiters won't invite you for an interview, even if you apply at the right time. You can, however, keep certain guidelines in mind. Especially when you send your application directly or spontaneously.

Young graduates, don't wait until you graduate!

If you graduate in September and start looking for a new job, you're bound to meet lots of other students. Get ahead of them and apply just before the summer holidays, before you graduate. Given the current shortage on the job market, there are certainly employers open to this possibility.

Would you still prefer to apply in September? Then start looking for traineeships. Many companies are reacting to the large number of young graduates and adapting their job offers to beginners. In this case, you will generally benefit from extra supervision and inexperienced candidates will be taken into account. As a beginner, you don't have to compete with people who have two years' experience. Look for "young potential", "traineeship" or "junior".

Conversely, as an experienced jobseeker, it's best to avoid this period. In September, many companies focus on young talent. Chances are they're not looking for someone with ten years' experience right now. Wait a few weeks, then try again.

Better not to apply during these months

During the summer holidays, companies are also less active. One recruiter alternates with another and there's a good chance that your application will be left in the lurch. During the summer holidays, the number of advertisements drops sharply. Want to make an immediate impact? Then wait until October-December.

In January, with the good resolutions, a lot of people are thinking about a new job. You can therefore count on strong competition during this month. It's better to wait until February-March, because by then companies will have been able to convert January's plans into concrete job offers and jobseekers who started their search in January will already have found a new job.

The ideal time? Certainly not immediately after publication!

Do you think that applying for jobs immediately after they are published is a good idea? In itself, it can't do any harm, but make sure you take your time before applying. It's easy to make a spelling mistake and you definitely want to avoid that when you're making your first impression. Don't take too long either, because before you know it, the deadline has passed.

If you're making an open application, it's best to wait until late morning. By 11 o'clock your contact will have updated his or her mailbox, so your e-mail will attract more attention.

Conclusion: The right time is far from everything! Don't forget that a good CV, at any time, is still your best chance. Our advice? Devote your energy and time to formatting your CV rather than choosing the right time to apply.

Ready to apply? Select HR can help you! Take a look at our current vacancies in Luxembourg.