For job seekers, Fridays shouldn’t be spent dreaming of the weekend, updating your fantasy football team or sneaking out for a long liquid lunch. Applying for a role at the end of the workweek could give you an edge over the competition.
“Friday’s have traditionally been the day of the week when people wind down,” said Linda Jackson, managing director and co-founder of career management firm 10Eighty. “However, hiring managers are under pressure to find the right candidate, so it’s unlikely that they’d slack off too much in the current climate.”
With unemployment still at its highest levels in decades, people looking for jobs need every edge possible. We dug into our trove of job applications and resume searches on eFinancialCareers for the month of January to see if applying on a particular day of the week conveyed an advantage. According to the data, recruiters are busiest looking at resumes on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with nearly 40% of CV searches carried out those days. Meanwhile 34.5% of all applications by job seekers take place those days.
On Fridays, however, the proportion of resume searches to job applications rises to a high, with two resume searches per application taking place. That compares to 1.5 to 1.7 searches per application for other days of the week. This suggests that Friday is the best day to grab a recruiter’s attention because there’s less competition from other people applying for jobs.
“It’s naïve to think that Friday is an off day, there are no off days anymore,” said a recruitment manager at a large US bank.
If you are going to target your application for Fridays, get it in early in the morning. That’s when recruiters are keen to end the week with a flurry of activity, before thoughts inevitably turn to the weekend, said Jackson. Friday afternoon also has traditionally been a time when most recruitment consultants leave the office early and head out for drinks.
After Friday, Monday was the quietest day of the week for job applications on eFinancialCareers. Some recruitment consultants believe this is the best day to get their attention.
“The best day of the week to apply is on Monday, first thing, so the application is at the top of a recruiter’s inbox,” said Andy Dallas, director of Robert Half Financial Services. “Monday mornings are generally spent going through emails and preparing for the week ahead, so if you can time your application accordingly, you will be top of mind.”
Graduate applicants appear to be more focused than more experienced people looking for jobs. Figures provided to us by PwC, suggest that 3,607 students have applied on a Friday for 2013 graduate roles since October last year, which is second only to Thursdays with 3,790.
Imogen O’Mahony, a manager in the student recruitment team at PwC, insists that there’s no ideal day to get a recruiters attention.
“It is more about attending information sessions that recruiters run and learning as much as you can to help in your application and interview,” she said. “Recruiters are more about giving people the tools and information, it is then over to the student to get themselves prepared and excel in the interview.”