If you've spent hours, days or longer carefully crafting your resume, you might be interested in learning the best time of day to send it out.
Just as social media posts and eBay ads have a "sweet spot" where people's most productive hours and peek alertness coincide for maximum post effectiveness, sending out your resume on certain days - but not others - may increase your chances of getting an interview.
Timing is certainly a factor when it comes to applying for a job, and though it's not an exact science, here are some interesting findings which you can apply when sending out your own resume.
Best Day to Apply: Monday
The recruitment website Bright.com analysed over half a million job applications on its site, along with 15 million views of job postings by US job seekers. Their conclusion was that Monday is the #1 best day to send in your resume, with over 30% of sample applicants successfully gaining an interview as a result of their application - more successes than any other day of the week.
Bright.com senior analyst Jacob Bollinger theorizes that people who apply for jobs on Monday get their resume to the top of the hiring manager's INBOX, avoiding their application getting lost in the weekend 'slush pile.' They also appear to be go-getters by applying early in the week.
Adds 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.”
Worst Day to Apply: Saturday
The least successful day to apply was found to be Saturday, with only 5% of job applicants choosing to send out resumes on this day, and just 14% of that 5% getting a callback.
Friday is the second least-popular day for job submissions, but may be associated with a higher open rate by hiring managers, who may be scrambling to line up interviews for Monday before going home for the weekend.
It's a risk though, as most people at your target company will most likely be winding down for the weekend and may skim or ignore your email, putting it on the bottom of the pile come Monday.
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The Rest of the Week
Tuesday is the Number One most popular day of the week when it comes to the highest volume of job applications being submitted. However, only 20% of those applications wind up producing job interviews.
When it comes to Wednesday and Thursday, best practice is to think about your own email-checking habits at the office, and email accordingly. Most people are most productive at work between the hours of 10am-2pm. Early mornings for most folk are spent making coffee and catching up on office chit-chat, and afternoons after 3-4pm are not optimal due to the universally-recognized 'sugar crash' that happens around that time.
Holidays and Beyond
If you want to be perceived as super dedicated and a hard worker, apply for a job during the holidays. Your resume will stand out because not only do HR departments receive fewer resumes during traditional vacations, they will be refreshed when they come back and check their email.
Many companies plan their annual hiring far in advance, and use down-time during official holiday seasons to process applications, ready for the hiring glut when the next quarter begins. Figuring out the exact dates your target company's quarters begin and end is a great idea - scan their Facebook page for quarterly lunches or parties, and apply when you see the team taking those big fancy dinners.
Timing is Everything
So now you've chosen the best day to send in your resume - Monday or Tuesday. But what time is best, to ensure the maximum attention of the HR manager or recruiter?
According to email marketeers Constant Contact, 10am–2pm are the hours where email volume is at its peak. To avoid hitting peak email time and having your application drown in a sea of spam and internal memos, send your application between the hours of 6:30am-7:30am. That way, your email will be near the top of the hiring person's INBOX when they arrive at work.
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Late Night Submissions
If you're in the habit of sending emails late in the afternoon, in the hopes that your email will be the first one the recruiter sees the next morning, think again. More so than ever before, people are now checking their email after work hours, logging in on their smartphone or iPad.
Dan Zarrella, who works with HubSpot as a social media analyst, notes in his webinar “The Science of Email Marketing" that the number of 'night email checkers' has risen to around 70% of the working population.
He also notes that you should consider people's frame of mind before submitting a late-night resume - the recruiter is very likely cooking dinner, watching TV or running errands around the house. This means that your after-hours job application has a good chance of being quickly scanned during the advert break in The Big Bang Theory, marked as 'read,' then forgotten about next day at the office.
One thing to consider is late-night submsission. Says an anonymous Engineering Recruiter on Q&A site Quora, "A lot of recruiters check email one last time before bed - I know I do and if I see a good candidate come through, I'm likely to email them right back to set up a phone interview."
At the End of the Day...
Remember that while you can take every care to learn all the rules and submit your resume at the perfect time, the hiring manager him or herself is not a perfect person. On the day your resume arrives, he/ she may have come to work with a cold, spent the night up dealing with a sick child, or may even completely ignore an overflowing INBOX to run out to a dentist appointment.
While the above tips may give you a jump start on your competition, the best-timed resume in the world means nothing if you haven't put 100% into the writing and creation of it. Check out our Resume Tip Tuesday article archive for tips and hacks to help you write your best resume and cover letter ever!