What’s the best day of the week for job seekers to submit a résumé and job application? The answer to that question could impact your job hunt and be key in landing an interview.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to that question; every hiring manager and recruiter structures their workweek differently, and you have no idea when they’ll be distraction-free, more receptive to reviewing new applications, or what time zones they're in. However, there are some basic tips that can potentially tip the odds a bit in your favor.
Never on a Friday
You know how it goes: By the time Friday rolls around, all you want to do is shut down your work computer, unplug for the weekend, and not think about work again until Sunday night. If you’re feeling spectacularly productive, you might use Friday afternoon to get a jump on next Monday, by tweaking your schedule and sending some emails—but chances are good you’re not going to want to launch a major new project.
Recruiters and hiring managers are no different; they’re likely not at their most energetic on Fridays. In light of that, refrain from sending in your résumé and job application at the very end of the week.
Monday is Often Good
A few years ago, an analysis of more than 4,000 applications by TalentWorks found that submitting a résumé and job application on a Monday (or very late on Sunday night, so it ends up at the top of recruiters’ inboxes come Monday morning) boosted your chances of being hired by 46 percent. Other, more recent studies have arrived at a similar conclusion.
The reasoning behind this is straightforward: Recruiters and hiring managers enter their offices on Monday in (hopefully) a well-rested and generally good mood. The workweek hasn’t kicked into full gear yet, so they’re less distracted and more inclined to tackle their inbox and to-do list. If they see your application at this moment, they’re more likely to give it thorough consideration.
However, many job candidates realize Monday is likely a perfect day to apply, and so a recruiter or hiring manager might open their inbox to find a flood of résumés and applications. In light of that…
Tuesday is Another Excellent Choice
According to FlexJobs, someone applying for a job on a Tuesday is 20 percent more likely to land a job interview. It’s still early in the week, which means recruiters and hiring managers still have a lot of energy; in addition, those swamped on Monday have (hopefully) managed to clear out their backlog so they can focus on incoming applications.
Keep Holidays in Mind
It’s easy to lose track of holidays. Make sure you’re not sending your résumé and job application on a holiday Monday (such as Presidents’ Day). Also, click that “Send” button as far in advance of major, multi-day holidays (such as Thanksgiving) as possible—otherwise, your application may just sit there for a long time.
Adjust Your Résumé
If you’ve spent any time on the job market, you know that many companies employ automated systems to scan your résumé and job application before it ends up in front of a human being. Résumé software is designed to scan for certain keywords and phrases, allowing the company to discard applications that don’t meet a particular threshold in terms of skills, experience, and so on.
No matter what day you choose to submit your application, make sure that you’ve tailored your résumé and other materials to fit the specific job. That means analyzing the original job posting, noting all the keywords (such as technical skills), and inserting as many as possible into your résumé. Remember to only use keywords for skills you’ve mastered; if you make it to the interview stage, you’ll likely be tested on your competency with various tools and platforms.
But don’t over-optimize your résumé; automated scanning software is designed to detect “keyword stuffing.” Just focus on writing a document that puts your skills in the best possible light while remaining concise. And never submit it to a recruiter or hiring manager on a Friday evening.