New Year, New Job: Experts Tell Us What It Is Like to Job Hunt in Q1

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This is part one of our three-part post-holiday season job search series. Read part two and three here.

Whether they are out of work or looking to upgrade their paycheck or career, many people are on the hunt for a new job after the holiday season. Searching for a new job can be frustrating, no matter the time of year. To reduce the stress, we asked recruitment and hiring professionals to share their advice and experience for people looking to improve their employment in the first part of the year.

Q1 hiring trends

“In more than 15 years of recruiting and resume writing experience, one trend has always remained the same — hiring picks up significantly in January / at the start of the New Year. Part of this can be attributed to the fact that hiring budgets renew, and candidates should take advantage.” — Dana Leavy-Detrick, Director, Brooklyn Resume Studio

“[W]e plan on hiring two to three additional employees in January 2019. We've known for a while now that we needed to hire additional employees but we decided to hold until after the holiday season. I can't imagine we are the only company that has followed this timetable. In fact, I think candidates will see an influx of job postings around the middle of January. Whether the job openings are from small businesses like mine that decided to wait or larger corporations that finally set 2019 budgets, I think there will be plenty of opportunities for job seeking candidates, come the New Year." — Matt Ross, Co-owner and COO, RIZKNOWS and The Slumber Yard

“A lot of companies, not only individuals, like to start fresh and plan for the New Year, so January and February can be great times to look for a new job. Do your research before contacting the company and lay out a specific plan of how you can help them reach their goals or fill in a weakness or blind spot they currently have. When you present to them how they can get the year started off on the right foot, they will be much more likely to hire you and get you in as part of achieving their New Year's resolution." — Stacy Caprio, Founder, Growth Marketing

“As the founder and chief executive of a recruiting firm, I have had excellent results placing clients in the first few months of the year.

Many job seekers take a break early in the year, believing that the slower pace after the holidays means the pace of hiring in most businesses slows as well. In fact, more companies hire during the first quarter than at any time in the year.

Most companies begin a new budget year in January and have money available for hiring. Managers and executives are planning the year ahead and looking to fill talent gaps in order to get a good start on their annual goals.

Another trend that works in job seekers' favor? Many people make a New Year's resolution to find new jobs or seek promotions. So, in addition to new jobs that companies typically add at the beginning of the year, there are the inevitable openings in existing positions, too.

The combination of a smaller pool of active candidates and a bigger pool of available positions adds up to a positive job market for a post-holiday search.” — Chris Chancey, Founder, Amplio Recruiting

“Spend time updating your resume so you are ready come January. Start setting up auto searches or alerts on career pages of companies you are interested in. Companies tend to slow down their hiring at the end of the year because of the holidays. Managers may be out of the office and have less time to interview. Once hiring budgets and sales forecasts are set in January, companies will be more eager to hire again. Also, some companies pay annual bonuses in December, and expect some people will leave right after.” — Steven Davison, Operations Recruiter, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope

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