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.
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.”