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I noticed a job opening yesterday (Thursday) that I am very excited about. The job was only posted 2 days ago. Would it be better to apply at the end of the week on Friday or at the beginning of the week on Monday?

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    It makes no difference normally. They'll collate the applications and short list them to bring people in for interviews. – Jane S Aug 21 '15 at 11:10
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    Downvoters: care to explain why you think this isn't useful? It's not the first time I've seen people wondering if the timing of their application is important so this seems like a good question for this site. – Lilienthal Aug 21 '15 at 11:51
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    It might make no difference for jobs where HR gets a lot of applications. But I always wonder the same question for jobs where there might not be a lot of candidates. On which time would a HR manager go more easy on my resume. After a long day of work the first impression might be worse then in the morning or the other way around. There must be a more optimal time to hand in your letter and resume, maybe just after lunch? :) – Niels van Reijmersdal Aug 21 '15 at 14:12
  • Thanks for everyone's responses. Just for clarification the position is a computer tech at a local small hospital. I could not imagine them getting too many applications. – alexander7567 Aug 21 '15 at 15:27
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    @NielscanReikmersdal If you knew how fast the initial scan is often done (from my own experience as an interviewer, though not a member of the HR department) I don't think the "After a long day at work impression" is very relevant. Whatever time of day it is, your application many have less than a minute make any sort of impression at all. If the important stuff is hidden half way down page three of your covering letter, it's very likely that nobody will ever read it at all. – alephzero Aug 21 '15 at 19:55
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As long as you are applying within the deadline (assuming there is one), it makes no difference on what day or at what time you apply.

The hiring manager or HR staffer collecting applications might have them sorted by date, by name, or size. There might be some sort of application software that organizes them differently. Whoever is processing them might simply pick applications at random in no discernible order. In most cases all applications are then handed to the hiring manager for review, again in a random or unpredictable order.

In short there is no way to guarantee that your application will be the first or last that someone sees but that doesn't matter anyway. Jobs aren't handed out on a first-come first-serve basis.

As Sumyrda rightly noted in the comments, one exception to that rule can be jobs in the service industry or retail that require minimal qualifications. For those jobs it's still common to apply in person and possible to get hired on the spot. When applying to those jobs you also want to avoid doing so during busy hours or near the end of their business hours.


From another perspective Alison Green over at Ask a Manager says:

Apply when it’s convenient for you to apply. What matters most is that you have an awesome, personalized cover letter and a resume that shows a track record of achievement in the thing they’re hiring for. If you have that, any halfway competent hiring manager is going to consider your application regardless of what day of the week or time of day it was received.

She summarises her advice as:

Apply as soon as you have time to do it well, and don’t worry about the timing.

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    +1 for as soon as you have the time to do it well. Unless it is a job which doesn't need qualification like restocking shelves in a grocery store - those are sometimes handed out first come first serve. – Sumyrda Aug 21 '15 at 13:17
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    A very good point @Sumyrda, thanks for bringing it up. I've incorporated that into my answer but don't have much experience with that industry so welcome everyone's input if it's wrong or incomplete. – Lilienthal Aug 21 '15 at 13:42
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    Of course, this assumes that the hiring manager is halfway competent. This is not always a safe assumption. – Mason Wheeler Aug 21 '15 at 14:34
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    @MasonWheeler That's certainly true but my point is that aside from being (usually) pointless, it's also impossible to "game the system" even if you wanted to as you can't know the hiring manager's process from the outside. As mentioned on the first link: "I mean, you can always find someone who does hiring who has some crazy bias, but you can’t avoid them no matter what you do." – Lilienthal Aug 21 '15 at 14:47
  • I would add, that in a really small business (like 5-10 employees) where there is no established HR department/person, it would be slightly easier to "loose" a resume on Friday just before close, then the rest of the week. But even in those situations, most owners just "collect" the applicants till they have X many (or a deadline) then go through them. – coteyr Aug 22 '15 at 18:59
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If there is a closing date mentioned, then make sure you comeback before the deadline, and leave yourself enough time to jump through all the hoops. Some sites take a time to cut and paste all the required info into their profile collection system.

If there is no deadline mentioned, then apply now. Don't wait. When you go back on Saturday they may have closed the posting. they may have said once we get x number of qualified resumes we are done, and will start with the next phase.

For the larger companies once you get your info into their system, applying for another position is even easier. They ask if you want to make changes to your profile information. Take the time to review it, and make some tweaks if they are needed. You may find that it takes less than 10 minutes to apply to subsequent openings.

As long as you make it by the deadline, they generally aren't taken in order of submission, unless they receive hundreds of resumes for a single opening.

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In another situation where it pays to apply early is in some civil service posts. A civil service job in the UK I applied for had (words to the effect of) in the application process:

The application deadline is September 1st. This advertisement may close earlier if sufficient applications are received

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    That wording is equivalent to the old joke about the 2-person company which got 500 job applications when it wanted to expand to a 3-person company. The two founders were at a loss as to how to process so many applicants, until one of them just simply deleted 450 of the applications unread. The other was horrified: "But you might have excluded the best candidates!". The response: "Yeah, but we can't take the risk of hiring somebody who is unlucky". Of course most good jokes have some basis in truth.... – alephzero Aug 21 '15 at 19:45
  • @alephzero I like it... That would be a rough situation! – alexander7567 Aug 21 '15 at 20:11
  • @user1108 It's typical for NHS vacancies too – dsas Aug 22 '15 at 16:51

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