When Is the Best Time to Apply for a Job in the UK?

Apply for a Job in the UK

The UK job market can be competitive for students, fresh graduates, and people who have work experience. Sometimes, timing can also play a crucial role in the success of your job application. There are months that are busier for both students and graduates and experienced professionals, and there are months that are quieter. If you understand the timing, you can have a more planned approach in your job application. In this article, we explain the best time to apply for a job in the UK for students, graduates and experienced professionals

For Students and Graduates

Student and graduate recruitment often start around September, and companies recruit one year in advance. For example, the majority of the big recruiters, who accept international students, start recruiting in September 2021 for roles that commence in summer/autumn 2022. Recruiting one year in advance allows companies to have sufficient time to complete all interviews and assessment centres, deal with documents and visa applications and allocate resources in the company before the new hires arrive.

There is another reason for starting the hiring process around September time. The majority of the UK students finish their degrees and get their results by September. Even if you are doing a master’s course, you are most likely to complete your course by September and can legally start full-time employment afterwards.

Having a specific recruitment time frame means the number of vacancies available in the market often peaks around September to November each year for students and graduates. As the recruitment progresses, companies start closing their roles from November onwards and begin interviewing. Therefore, the number of vacancies available will be the lowest from April to June. It does not mean there will not be roles available during this time. There are more than 500+ live student and graduate vacancies on UK Visa Jobs now, and UK’s biggest international student recruiters such as PwC, Barclays and Deloitte are still hiring for their summer internships and graduate programmes. However, due to the limited number of available vacancies, April to May can be slightly challenging to land a job offer due to the fierce competition. If a company started their recruitment in September and is still recruiting for the same role in April or May, it may also indicate that they could not fill these vacancies. Applying for this type of vacancy often increases your chance of being shortlisted for an interview.

The start times for internships and graduate programmes are different. The majority of internships often commence around June and last for anywhere between four to eight weeks. However, graduate programmes usually start between July and September, though some may start in October. Graduate programmes often last for 18-36 months, depending on the role, and graduate jobs are also deemed permanent. 18 – 36 months are the duration of training. After the training period, you will often move into a permanent full-time role where training is less not common.

There will be a fresh influx of roles again in September 2022. If you are currently at school and have not graduated yet or are only starting your master’s degree this September, it is important to start your application as early as September. However, if you have already graduated, you should be applying for roles now.

For Experienced Professionals

Companies hire staff all year round, especially people with work experience. Although there is no recruitment cycle like graduate and internship roles have, there are months that are quieter than the others.

Usually, January to March is the best time to look for a job. During this time, many companies allocate their recruitment budget, people come back from their Christmas or new year breaks and hiring managers rush to fill in the vacancies which were paused due to holidays. Many companies also pay bonuses during this period, and people change jobs after getting their bonus, creating more vacant positions.

There are still plenty of roles in the market in April and May, mostly due to the openings from January to March. However, during this time, the job market can get very competitive because there are more people applying for jobs too. It is essential to review your CV and prepare well for your interview.

Summer months are usually quiet. There are not as many vacancies as there are in Januaries or Februaries, and there will be fewer interviews due to hiring managers being on holiday. You may need to try harder to find something suitable during this time. If you cannot find a job you like, you should not worry too much. The market will start picking up in September again, and there will be more jobs. Summer is also an excellent time to improve your interview skills to be ready for upcoming interviews and increase your chance of success in Autumn.

The rest of the year gest back to normal, apart from December, because it is a holiday period. In September, the market will recover, and there will be a decent amount of jobs you can apply for.