When Should I start applying for graduate jobs?

Saffron Wildbore

~ 3min read

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~ 3min read

> When to apply for graduate jobs

You’re in your final year of university and your graduation date is looming. Much like the weather, the job market has seasons for applications. Navigating the best dates to start applying for graduate opportunities is stressful, but it doesn’t have to be!

Keep reading to find out the best times to begin your job hunt.

> Winter or summer?

The new year is often a great time to begin your application process as companies often have fresh budgets for new hires. This makes January and February a great time to start looking for jobs.

However, when it comes to graduate opportunities, there’s no doubt that summer is the best time to apply. This is the time that most employers will be looking to hire graduates fresh out of university. This period of time is crucial to work on your CV, get down to careers fairs and start applying!

If you’re wanting to take a fresh look at your CV, or have never written one before, then Discover our tips for writing your graduate CV.

> What day of the week is best?

In 2015, Smart Recruiters conducted a study that found the following.

Monday - Wednesday

Nearly 58% of jobs are posted, and 54% of applications are submitted between Monday and Wednesday.

According to the study, Tuesday is the main day where most hiring decisions are made. It’s also the day when the most jobs are posted, making Tuesday a great day to apply!

Thursday - Friday

Although not the best day, jobs are still posted on Thursdays. Come Friday, companies will start winding down for the weekend and are unlikely to post.

They’ll also have a backlog of applications from the week to go through, so it’s best not to apply on Fridays.

> What time of day is best?

The time of day when you apply for a job can have a big impact on whether your resume is read. According to Business Insider, applications sent after 7:30pm have only a 3% chance of receiving an interview.

Applications sent after 4pm had a 5% or less likelihood. The set period of 6am - 10am is apparently the best time to submit an application. Doing so between these times gives candidates a higher chance of scoring an interview, they’re 5 times more likely!

> So, what should I do?

Ensure that you’re using your time wisely, work on your resume and have it ready to go for when you see a job you want to apply for. 

Search during peak times, or even set up alerts on job sites to be notified as soon as a relevant opportunity is posted. 

Try not to apply too late in the day. This is a difficult ask, especially when you lead a busy life. Prepare your application whenever it works for you, but wait until peak times to submit it.

So you’ve applied and made it through to the next round - the interview stage. Don’t panic! Read our 7 interview tips for your first graduate job.

> When is it too late to apply for graduate jobs?

As noted earlier in the article, the summer period is the best time to apply for graduate programs. It’s important not to overthink though. If you stay proactive and consistent in your job search, you’ll be sure to find something that’s right for you. 

With mthree, we take the stress out of rushing to find that perfect opportunity. Our graduate opportunities are available throughout the whole year, giving you time to find the best one for you. 

We know that it’s hard to get a foot in the door with organisations straight out of university, but we recognise your potential. 

Our training programmes aim to set you up with the real-world skills that you need to achieve your dream job. Find out more about what we do for graduates.

Land your dream role and discover our graduate opportunities in the world of technology, banking and business today!

Saffron Wildbore is a Senior Marketing Executive at mthree. She has worked in marketing, specialising in creating content for over 4 years. Saffron focuses on writing tips for graduates, Alumni interviews and more!


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