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By Kristen Bahler
October 20, 2017
Photo illustration by Sarina Finkelstein for Money; Getty Images (1)

If you’re searching for a new job, you’ve probably learned the usual tricks to boost your profile like a killer resume and a snappy cover letter.

But if you’re firing off applications in the middle of the day, or after work, new data suggests all those strategies could be for naught.

Employment platform TalentWorks, which helps candidates find and apply for jobs, analyzed roughly 1,600 applications it sent on behalf of jobseekers in recent months, and whether timing correlated to their chances of snagging an interview.

And boy, did it ever.

Between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., applications have a 13% chance of getting an interview — higher than any other point in the day, they found.

After that, odds drop 10% every 30 minutes, and continue to trend down for the rest of the day — save for a brief bump right after lunchtime at 12:30 p.m.

Graph Courtesy of TalentWorks

The worst time to send an application? TalentWorks applications hit rock bottom returns at 7:30 p.m., when they stood just 3% chance of landing an interview.

It’s hard to tell exactly why the odds are stacked against evening applicants. Hiring managers could be under the (reasonable) impression that job seekers who sends resumes first thing in the morning are better candidates than those who do so at night. Or maybe they’re just more charitable after a coffee break — a theory that supports results from a 2011 Princeton study on bias in the judicial system. Maybe its a little of both.

TalentWork’s CEO Kushal Chakrabarti says they don’t have data on when the person on the receiving end opens the applications, or what would motivate employers to favor early birds.

But in general, when it comes to hiring, “There’s so much unconscious bias,” he says. “This appears to be another one.”

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Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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