It is often seen that the number of job applications start to decrease as we approach the end of a calendar year. Reasons for this may be that many people start looking ahead to the end of year festivities. Others will have the intention of seeing out the rest of the year, before beginning their search in January. Either way, activity is often slower, and less hires occur as a result.

However, in 2016, this did not prove to be the case. Data released by totaljobs found that applications actually rose by 11% in the final three months of the year, in comparison to the three months prior. A very surprising statistic indeed. Furthermore, the figure was 25% higher than that of 2015. People are always on the lookout for new opportunities so the argument for there just being more jobseekers on the market should be questioned.

So what is the reason for the increased number of applications?

Therefore, there must be an alternative explanation behind the findings. It is believed that more jobseekers are becoming aware of the application rush normally witnessed during the month of January. As a result, they are acting earlier. The theory makes sense as you are more likely to be noticed when the number of applications is fewer and less populated. However, it seems that many may have spotted this.

Consequently, the statistics highlight little advantage will have been gained. As you have sent applications earlier, so have many others. This does not mean that you should stop job searching as early this year though. It should just tell you that competition is likely to be intense whenever you decide to act. Moreover, it should encourage you to not just wait until so called ‘peak’ times to start your job search too.

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