I’m often asked “When’s the best time of year to start a job hunt?”
There really is no one “job hunting season”. But know that it usually takes longer than you expect, so starting a search near Memorial Day with the expectations that you’ll be in a new job for July 4th would be, for most people, unrealistic. I tell most job-seeking professionals who are between jobs to expect a three-month campaign, and if they’re working full-time, due to less time available for networking, a transition taking about six months is not unusual.
Job fairs usually follow the calendar of the school year. In other words, they are usually not scheduled during the summer or close to the December holidays. While I think job fairs are usually a mixed bag at best, some are well-run with quality companies who have real jobs. Better to use the job fair ad to see what companies will be there, then check their web sites to see if there are jobs in your career area. Not every open job is posted but what’s there will give you an idea of what their needs are.
There are certainly times of the year where it’s more difficult to sit down with network contacts or hiring managers. Mid-December through the first of January is tough because of their many out-of-the-office commitments. But many recruiters are available at this time of year so try to reach them then.
It’s not as easy to reach networking contacts or hiring managers from late June through mid-July. This is when many people are away on vacation. While this may continue through the summer, the toughest period is the two weeks around July 4th.
So plan ahead when you’re hoping to make a transition. While the time of year might not have a huge impact, hitting your stride when people are around will be to your benefit.