Spring is the season of new growth and fresh starts, and your career is no exception. If you’re feeling restless in your current position, now is the perfect time to start looking for a new job, according to career experts.
For one, jobs are more plentiful in the spring than at any other time of the year. April is the peak month for new job postings, according to Bloomberg. Generally, the labor force expands the most in the spring, along with the early summer and fall, with hiring particularly strong in April and May. Things are slow in December, January, and July.
Though companies are scrambling to hire as the weather warms up, many job hunters have given up on their new year’s resolution to make a career change by the time spring rolls around. That gives motivated job seekers an edge, Joe Weinlick, senior vice president of marketing at career website Beyond.com, told The Cheat Sheet.
“[Job search] activity trails off over the first few months of the year, so by spring, there’s less competition,” Weinlick said. “It’s a great time to get noticed, especially for someone who’s trying to change careers or look for a job where their experience isn’t a great match. I think there’s a much better chance in the spring that you’re actually going to be able to get the attention of a recruiter.”
Not only is hiring up in the spring, but so are people’s moods. “There’s just something about spring — it’s the period of rebirth,” Weinlick said. “People are feeling more positive, so that’s going to lift your spirits, and what better time to look for a job than when you’re feeling that way?”
Interviewers may also be feeling more cheerful as the weather improves, which is a plus for job seekers. “When you’re in an interview, the person on the other side of the desk is feeling that same springtime optimism,” Weinlick said. “It’s a great opportunity to create a connection.”
Spring is a particularly good time to look for work in the construction industry, according to Weinlick, as well as landscaping and other fields that involve working outside. Jobs in the hospitality industry may also be easier to come by, while positions in healthcare and IT are plentiful year-round. But people in all fields may be able to benefit from the seasonal boost.
Even if you’re not actively looking to switch employers, the spring is a good time to refocus your career goals and ready yourself for a potential job search, Weinlick said. Research jobs you think you might want to apply for in the future, and assess your skills against the listed requirements. If you’re coming up short, make a plan to fill in the gaps.
“The best time to start looking for a job is when you have no need to,” Weinlick said. “In spring, if you’re happy with your job, if everything’s going well, take that energy and put it into cleaning up your resume, or going onto LinkedIn and making sure you’ve been making contacts.” Smart networking, like grabbing coffee with one of your contacts, is another way to put yourself in a position get a new job in the future, even if you don’t want one right now.
Those networking efforts are especially critical for first-time job seekers. College students who will graduate in May need to start pounding the pavement now, Weinlick said. In addition to applying to open positions, they should set up a LinkedIn profile, arrange informational interviews, and attend career fairs.
“Don’t wait until graduation” to start looking for a job, Weinlick urged. “You need to start looking early on.” The good news, he added, is that the job market for younger workers has improved in recent years, as companies realize they need to fill the talent pipeline as more baby boomers retire.
Still, recent grads need to know how to sell themselves in order to overcome the doubts some employers have about younger workers. “There’s the perception that younger workers are less loyal, less career focused, might jump jobs, and are a little less willing to put in long hours and work hard,” Weinlick said. Coming prepared to an interview and making it clear what you can contribute to the company can help the newbie job seeker stand out.
Whether you’re job hunting for the first time or are an old pro, the right mindset is key. Getting outside when the weather improves can help. Spending a half hour or more outside on nice spring days can improve your memory and your mood, studies have found.
“There appears to be something uniquely uplifting about warm days in the spring,” wrote the authors of a paper exploring the effects of weather and mood published in the journal Psychological Science. They added, “If you wish to reap the psychological benefits of good springtime weather, go outside.”