When is the best time to apply to jobs in Germany?
Navigating the job application landscape in Germany requires a strategic understanding of the optimal times to make your move. It’s not just about qualifications; it’s about timing. In this blog, we unravel the intricacies of the calendar year, helping you discern the ideal phases for applying to jobs in Germany. Let’s first look at the season-dependent factors that influence your chances of progressing further through the application process:
- Vacation times: When many employees and HR decision-makers are on vacation, the entire application process slows down.
- Order situation/season: Every industry has its own rhythm. Shortly before the economic boom, there is usually an increased search for personnel.
- Budget allocation: A fixed budget is allocated for personnel expenses. When this is reorganized (usually at the beginning of the year), the willingness to hire new employees tends to be higher.
- Competition: If there are a particularly large number of applicants at one point in the year, your application will automatically have greater competition.
January to February
Right after after the New Year celebrations, companies tend to operate at a slower pace. The lingering holiday season, often extending until Epiphany in the first week of January, results in many employees still being on vacation. This delay is a common practice in Germany, as employees are allowed to transfer unused vacation days into the new year.
As teams reconvene, planning for new projects and the allocation of budgets kick off. Unlike India, in Germany, the financial year aligns with the calendar year, leading to the initiation of new budgets in January. Consequently, this window, typically from mid-January to the end of February, emerges as a prime time for sending out job applications. It’s a period when many German companies actively seek new talent, partly due to resignations at the year’s end. Yet, heightened competition prevails as numerous individuals embark on the new year with career resolutions, aiming for a fresh start and possibly a new job opportunity.
March to April
In March and April, especially for roles in tourism, catering, or the hotel industry, the opportunity for applications shines bright. The onset of spring in Germany signals the imminent high season—summer—which prompts heightened demand for staff in these sectors. Similarly, agricultural industries gear up for the impending harvest season commencing in June, making these months an opportune time to apply for roles within these fields.
May to June
During May and June, securing job opportunities might pose a bit of a challenge. Companies often anticipate their mid-year vacations during this period. In German, the downtime due to their summer (July & August) vacations is termed as “Sommerloch”. While some firms do require staff to cover for those on extended leave, they might be cautious about hiring new employees due to concerns about managing onboarding and training amidst vacation season.
July & August
During July and August, the German summer holidays are in full swing, making job offers harder to come by. With many employees on their well-deserved vacations, it’s a season marked by the Sommerloch. Part-time seasonal jobs might be more prevalent during this period. However, taking a proactive approach by applying to companies could be advantageous. While landing a job offer is challenging at this time, being proactive may ensure that your application stands out and is remembered when new positions become available, possibly earning you extra points for your initiative.
September to November
Towards the end of September through to November, which marks the German Autumn, many companies initiate new projects. Following the post-summer break, team members are rejuvenated and back in the swing of work. This period presents an opportune time to submit job applications and keep an eye out for freshly posted job advertisements as companies gear up for new ventures.
December in Germany is synonymous with vibrant Christmas celebrations. For many companies, it’s a period of winding down or rescheduling projects to begin anew in January. Sending out job applications during this month might not yield the desired attention. They could get lost amid the flurry of Christmas invitations, Glühwein and holiday greetings.
Excursion: Applying for Ausbildung
The famous German vocational education (Ausbildung) is done jointly with a company and a vocational school. They usually start in August or September. Following the onboarding of new trainees, many companies embark on the recruitment process for the next year’s batch. In November, industries like hospitality, public service, automotive, and healthcare often begin accepting applications. Meanwhile, by January or February, various other sectors, including craft trades and diverse industries, aim to finalize their vocational training positions for the upcoming Ausbildung period.
On which day of the week should you submit your application?
The day you choose to submit your application can significantly influence its impact. Studies highlight Monday as the optimal day to make that crucial application in Germany, maximizing your chances to progress in the recruitment process. But what if Monday has slipped by? Fear not—Tuesday steps in as the next favorable day to hit ‘send’.
For those balancing a job in India and reaching out to German companies, leveraging online scheduling tools becomes a valuable asset. These tools allow you to automate sending your applications at specific times. The sweet spot? Aim for the window between 6 am and 10 am in Germany (11 am to 2 pm in India). Why? During these hours, HR teams are likely at their desks, giving your application prompt attention. Avoid late-day or evening submissions; they often end up amidst a flood of unread emails when HR staff begin their workdays in the morning, potentially burying your application. Aim for visibility during these prime hours and prime days to boost your application’s chances.
Beyond Ideal Timings
In essence, the ideal time to apply for a job aligns with periods of higher job availability relative to the number of applicants — a time when competition remains manageable. Every industry experiences unique peak phases depending on the demand, sometimes predictable, sometimes unexpectedly. During these high-demand phases, companies seek additional support, enhancing the prospects for applicants to secure a position. Additionally, budget planning and associated employee requirements play pivotal roles in hiring decisions.
While timing matters, it’s equally essential to ensure the quality of your application materials. The ability to impress through qualifications, technical expertise, and soft skills transcends the perfect application window. Even during quieter hiring seasons like Sommerloch, compelling profiles stand out.
For more invaluable insights and practical tips on navigating the German job market, consider joining our engaging application workshops.