Applying For A Job At This Time Of Day Can Make You 5 Times More Likely To Secure An Interview


This article originally appeared on Forbes.com and was written by Jennifer Liu. I am sharing this article in whole on my blog with full credit to the original author because of the value of the information contained.

If you've ever changed jobs before, you know that applying for a new one is a full-time gig in and of itself. But if you're firing off applications after work, you could be sabotaging your efforts.

According to an analysis of over 1,6000 job applications from TalentWorks, applications received at 7:30 p.m. were the least likely to result in an interview — a slim 3% chance. In fact, applications sent anytime after 4 p.m. had a 5% or less likelihood of leading to a call-back.

But it's not all bad news — adjusting your timing can also improve your chances. The analysis found that the best time to apply for a job was between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Doing so could make you five times more likely to score an interview. So here are our tips to help you be the early bird that gets the worm — and the interview call-back.

Best time to apply with a resume near Tampa

How to Send a Job Application That'll Actually Get Read

Be the first thing in their inbox. Anyone with a working internet connection knows email overload is a struggle. Avoid the competition by sending your application early in the day so it's one of the first things in the hiring manager's inbox; other studies have confirmed emails sent in the early hours yield higher response rates. If you write up your email in the evening, save it as a draft or use an email scheduler (like Boomerang for Gmail) to send it before you head into the office the next morning.

You can also aim for their lunch break. The TalentWorks analysis found the likelihood of an interview decreased for applications sent after the 10 a.m. cutoff — except for a slight bump at 12:30 p.m. This coincides with other findings that lunchtime messages also get a higher response rate, likely because people dedicate some time after their break to catch up on email that's piled up from the morning.

Get in the zone. The "early morning" and "lunchtime" success windows only work if you're sending them in the right time zone for the hiring manager, so make sure to double-check that detail if you're applying to a role in a new city or state.

Craft a good subject line. Your attention to detail shouldn't stop after you're done proofreading your resume and cover letter. To up the chances of your email getting read, include a clear and concise subject line. Make sure it's easily searchable and includes keywords (like the position you're applying for) to help the hiring manager find it later — you know, like when they're pulling up your info for your job interview.

The best time of day to interview for a job

If you are called in for an interview, try to schedule the appointment in the morning if you can. A study from the Harvard School of Business showed that people conducting interviews tended to compare and rate candidates who interviewed later in the day to the candidates they’d spoken with earlier (rather than scoring an interview based on the entire pool of applicants.)

This means that if the person conducting the interview had met with a particularly strong candidate in the morning and had already given out top scores, candidates interviewing later would be judged more harshly to compensate.

A hiring manager who has already given out a number of high marks could feel obligated to give out a lower grade to the next candidate regardless of actual qualifications. Also if an employer has already been impressed with a strong candidate it can be more difficult for subsequent applicants to be as memorable, even if equally qualified.

Scheduling your job interviews at the beginning of the day gives you the best shot at standing out in employers’ eyes, and beating the potential afternoon candidate-fatigue syndrome.

Top 10 resume space fillers that should be left off your resume.

I remember the first ‘real’ resume that I ever created for myself.  I was 18, felt invincible, and believed that I was an excellent candidate for any position. A young, energetic go getter who could make your company millions! Reality had not set in for me yet. The truth was, I was a freshman in college with entry-level experience working customer service in retail and food preparation. It should have been a red flag for me when my twenty months of work experience, mediocre high school performance and limited hobbies could be stretched out to fill nearly three whole pages, but alas I applied and applied for a new job.

Nothing ever came from those applications. What I didn’t know at that time was quality content greatly outweighed the volume of content. Experience and competencies are more critical than overall length. However so many highly qualified applicants are absolutely ruining their opportunities to land the interview by inflating the resume with superfluous information that recruiters do not care about or could even be putting them at risk for identity theft.

Often your resume is the first impression that a potential employer makes of you. Along with correct grammar, contemporary formatting and a clear presentation of your experience and abilities, it is best to omit these Top 10 resume space fillers.

1.    A Photo/Images

We are all proud of the professional head shot we had taken four years ago, especially when they can run upwards of $150 or more.  However the picture needs to go on LinkedIn – not on your resume. While a photo may be necessary in some professions, most jobs do not depend on a persons’ outward appearance. It is a waste of valuable space on a resume and could leave you open to bias opinions of your age or race by the person reviewing your resume.

2.    Hobbies/Interests

It is great to bond with coworkers and employers over mutual interests after you have the job. When it comes to having your hobbies listed on your resume, it is best to leave them off.  I love fishing, but my employer never cared about this. They cared about me giving my best effort at what I was hired to do. A recruiter is looking at a ton of resumes and mutual hobbies are not what will land you the job – recruiters are looking for someone to do the job correctly. Use this space to speak about your accomplishments in the workplace.

3.    Address

You are already sending an anonymous person your name, phone number and email address. Withrampant identity theft going on, no good reason exists to send everyone your complete address as well. If someone wants to hire you, they can get that information when you fill out the application. Additionally, some recruiters might dismiss you if they feel you live to far away to be able to reliably make the commute every day.

4.    Objective section

Drop the objective section. You are applying for a new job, so the objective is to get a new job and the recruiter knows this. Use this space on the resume for either a brief summary or to further flush out your job descriptions.

5.    Childish E-mail address

Follow your name at the top of the resume you list your contact information. If your email address is childish, it does not reflect well on you. I recommend you use some combination of your name in order to maintain a professional appearance. I also suggest you set up a free Gmail account that you only use for job searches.

6.    “References Upon Request”

This is an outdated and tired line. Employers know that if you want the job you will provide references if they would like them. Also, your friends and colleagues will not appreciate you sending out their name and phone number to random people. But be prepared to deliver those references at the interview; type out a list to provide to a hiring manager if they request them.

7.    Outdated or Assumed Skills

Say you just graduated college and your only job was as a customer service representative.  It is a waste of space to list ‘Customer Service’ as a skill. It is assumed based on your job title that you are skilled in customer service. Instead, explain a benefitthe employer received from your customer service skills.

8.    Irrelevant Awards/Accomplishments

You earned our varsity letter during our freshman year of high school and that’s great! Unfortunately fifteen years later it is not important to the position you just applied for. Remove this waste of space and further explain how your most recent experiences can benefit the company you have applied with.  If you graduated college, do not even bother listing your high school.

9.    Personal Social Media Accounts

The only social media that belongs on a resume is your LinkedIn profile. Employers are going to run a background check on you and likely review your social media accounts. Do you really want to be giving a nameless recruiter all of your personal information right up front? While some select caveats exist for this rule, the vast majority of applicants should only be listing their LinkedIn profile.

10.  Anything that does not directly relate to the job you are applying for

This is a follow up to point seven. A resume should be targeted to the position you are applying for. Leave any unnecessary information off the resume. A recruiter is reviewing hundreds of resumes.  Deliver the information that is most critical to the position you are applying for. Everything else can be discussed in the interview.