Graduation season is here, which means the job market is about to be flooded with new professionals—people with shiny new undergrad or graduate degrees and voracious drives to get a job. Now.

So, what does that mean for us non-graduating job seekers? Should we hit the brakes, hit the beach, and hope for less competition come fall? Or, with so many resumes coming through the doors, are hiring managers on their A-game?

In short, it depends, says Jason Hanold of executive search firm Hanold Associates. First, think about what type of job seeker you are. “Passive seekers, or those who want to be recruited, may be better off waiting until the fall when the individual hiring managers are back from summer vacation, and focus on proactively building their resumes,” Hanold explains. On the other hand, “If you are an active seeker, in need of a job now or actively looking to leave a company, there is no time like the present.”

The good news, if you do decide to apply now? According to Hanold, people aren’t stampeding the job market all at once, like you might think—many new graduates are postponing their searches until the fall and winter months, too. “We are seeing more people just entering the job market taking their time to travel, explore, and gain other meaningful life experiences before diving hard into their careers.”

That said, while the competition might not be tougher in the summer, you’re still dealing with, well, the seasonal slump. Which means, more than any other time of year, it’s important to pay attention to when you’re sending your applications out. “Avoid Fridays, weekends and right before the holidays,” Hanold recommends. “Professionals are people, and think about human nature; weekend is approaching, and folks want to clean up their emails, to-do lists, and any unfinished business, and then head out to recharge for the weekend.

The best time to apply? Tuesday through Thursday mornings, when most people are in the flow of regular business.


Photo of person job searching courtesy of Shutterstock.