Good news: The best time of year to land a new job is almost here

Landing a new job is tough. Between crafting a personalized cover letter and resume for every position and coordinating interviews on top of your already busy schedule, applying and getting the gig is a full-time job in itself.

So make your efforts more worth it by applying at the right time throughout the year. Plus, know when to relax a little and enjoy the slow season instead of sending in applications that may never be read. The good news is that the prime hiring season for private sector employees is upon us. Here are the best and worst times of the year to apply for jobs and get hired.

The worst time

Let’s start with looking at when not to apply for jobs. Many companies just aren’t in a rush to hire during the spring and summer. Even if they run on a fiscal year schedule, from July 1 to June 30, companies may be inundated with applications from recent graduates or their employees may be away on vacay for some R&R. That means your resume, no matter how great it is, might not make it to the top of the pile or be seen at all.

If you’re in need of a new job during these seasons, stick it out at your current gig. Instead of applying, use this time to really work on building your skills, networking and perfecting your resume and LinkedIn profile. It’s also a great time to enjoy your own PTO days and rest up before potentially starting a new job in a few months. You’ll be a prime candidate just in time for the prime hiring seasons.

The best time

According to career site Monster, January and February, as well as September, October and November, are all great months to apply for jobs.

December isn’t such a great time for recruiters because of the holidays, but the weeks following Christmas and New Year’s Day are awesome. Once back from all that family time, recruiters and hiring managers tend to take less time off, so the hiring process is roaring full speed ahead during January and February. Plus, it’s the beginning of the new year, which means they may have made room in the budget to hire more employees.

If you can’t wait for the new year, the fall season is second best because there may be room left in the annual budget for hiring new employees.

Dive in with those applications in order to beat out the competition. The hiring manager, and your potential boss, will be thankful that you didn’t slack off during those cold, winter months when you help fill that open role.

Other times to note

Depending on your industry, this application strategy may not work for landing your dream job. For instance, if you’re a teacher, you’ll want to ramp up your efforts in the spring and summer so that you can start your new job when school begins again in the fall. If you’re looking for a job in finance or business, many companies are interested in hiring recent graduates for their training programs. This means that spring and summer are great times to network and have a job lined up after graduation. If you’re in accounting, tax season may also be the perfect time to make the switch.

Whatever you do, don’t let the hiring cycle get you down. Just mark your calendar for the best time to apply for your industry and continue improving in every stage of your career. You’ll land your dream job before you know it.

This article was originally published on Swirled.