Most people know to book flights on a Tuesday or Wednesday for maximum savings, but very few job seekers apply this logic to their job search.
The truth is, there is an optimal day and time to send in job applications, and you’re doing yourself a disservice by not capitalizing on this weekly occurring window of opportunity.
Let’s get right into it.
What Is The Best Day Of The Week To Apply For A Job?
The best day of the week is widely regarded as either Monday or Tuesday, with Monday being the most consistent.
This is based on studies that show these are the busiest days in terms of response rates, including this one by SmartRecruiters.
Why those days in particular?
Well, the people in charge of hiring (HR, hiring managers, recruiters, etc.) are most likely to read over new applications at the start of the week in order to set up job interviews for later in the week.
This also aligns with data suggesting that most successful interviews take place in the middle of the week, particularly Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
But there is an important caveat:
While Mondays and Tuesdays may be the most optimal days of the week to apply, broadly speaking, this doesn’t account for when the job listing was actually posted.
Typically, employers and recruiters will check applicants a few days after a listing goes live, before moving to the next stage in the hiring process (meaning they rarely check back for new applications).
With that in mind, if a job listing goes live in the middle of the week, waiting for Monday probably isn’t the smartest move.
In short, the best day to apply for a job is on a Monday or Tuesday, unless the job listing appears midweek, in which case you should submit your application as soon as possible.
Pro tip: The same studies show that Saturday is likely the worst day to apply for jobs, so if you need a good excuse to take a breather in your job search, there you have it.
What Is The Best Time Of The Day To Apply For A Job?
Nowadays, most job applications are submitted online. The vast majority of those will end up in an email inbox, ready to be reviewed.
So the question then becomes, when is the best time to send an email?
Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of hard data to support this one because it can be tracked using free software.
According to a fairly recent study from SuperOffice, most emails are opened during business hours (9am to 5pm), usually peaking around late afternoon.
Based on this data—and many other studies supporting it—the best time to submit a job application is before 9am.
That way, your application will be available all throughout the workday to accommodate all possible schedules.
In fact, if you think about the way email inboxes work, you can give yourself even more of an edge by submitting your application as close to 9am as possible in order to get it to the top of the pile.
Once again, though, there’s an important caveat:
If you’re filling out applications and writing cover letters (where necessary), you need to be on form or the quality will suffer.
Not everyone performs best in the mornings, and if you’re one of those people, it’s better to hold off until later in the day before attempting any job search — just as long as you start as early as reasonably possible.
Don’t Forget, Your Resume Still Matters.
If you’re trying to utilize timing to cover up flaws in your resume, you’re thinking about this all wrong.
A well-timed job application does NOT override a bad resume.
What we’re doing here is all about visibility.
Improving the likelihood of your resume being seen is one thing. Securing an interview is entirely another.
If anything, sending a bad resume at the optimal time is more likely to end up in the trash because its flaws are less likely to go unnoticed.
Nothing beats having a bulletproof resume.
We have plenty of resources on improving your resume, so do your research and implement as many best practices as you can before looking at your timing.
The best day of the week to apply for a job is Monday or Tuesday, based on when employers and recruiters are most likely to check (and dedicate time to) incoming applications.
The best time of the day to apply for a job is before 9am, and as close to it as possible if accounting for the order in which those applications are seen.
Combine this with a well-executed resume and it’s just a matter of time before you start securing interviews and ultimately land yourself a job.
So keep pushing, keep applying. You’ve got this!