Given my current schedule (including work) I am often up very late at night. I am looking for a new job and was wondering, does it look bad if a employer receives an application form at 3am or sometime where most people are sleeping? I am looking for more regular jobs (around 9-6) and expect to have to adjust my sleep schedule and am prepared for this.

  • 48
    3am is still more professional than during office hours when you're supposed to be doing your current job instead of slacking.
    – Agent_L
    Jan 25, 2017 at 14:21
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    For some jobs, e.g. programmer, it's not weird at all that you work late.
    – Martijn
    Jan 25, 2017 at 15:08
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    If a hiring manager were to pay attention to the time an application was submitted, hypothetically, they'd probably be more concerned about one submitted during the working day while you're supposed to be at work at your current job. But it seems unlikely that they'd pay attention to those kinds of details. Jan 25, 2017 at 15:43
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    @JonathonCowley-Thom Even then, you could simply be on a day-off anyway. Or in another timezone at the moment you submit. Basically, since there is no way to know for sure, I wouldn't expect anyone to care.
    – ereOn
    Jan 25, 2017 at 21:13
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    @Martijn: For a programmer, it is weird to work at 3am.
    – gnasher729
    Jan 25, 2017 at 23:13

5 Answers 5


Short answer: no.

The hiring manager will come in the next morning, have 3 new applications and won't care enough to look up the time-stamp when exactly they came in.

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    Often they would never know anyway. I get my candidates listed each day by my HR team. All I know is that eg 4 more came in yesterday.
    – Rory Alsop
    Jan 25, 2017 at 13:16
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    The applications I receive have gone through a vetting process (Visa and other concerns independent of the exact position), so I don't always get them the next day. I only know a day (without time) and only use that to prioritize the review order.
    – cdkMoose
    Jan 25, 2017 at 18:49
  • "3 new applications" - i'd love to work in your industry! Most companies and positions I know the #s for are in 100s of applicants per position.
    – user13655
    Jan 25, 2017 at 19:22
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    @DVK But how many applicants does each person deal with?
    – anon
    Jan 26, 2017 at 6:14
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    @DVK, I wish I were in your industry, I have zero applications... (a specialised IT/developer position) Jan 26, 2017 at 14:19

If you are in current employment you might have no opportunity to apply for other roles during the working day, so applying for jobs at night is pretty much what most people have to do.

For companies who perceive this as negative, they would have to make assumptions as to why you applied late at night, and if they do that then you should ask yourself do you really want to work for them?

You will find that most don't even look at the time in which an application was received, a lot of HR departments deal with printed CV and cover letters and will never even know when you applied for a job. Smaller companies might know, but are unlikely to care.

The biggest factor in terms of when to apply for a role should be making sure you apply for the role as soon as possible.

  • I agree with all this, and would add to, "For companies who perceive this as negative", the same would apply if you mentioned at interview anything else that would reveal you have been up at 3am in the past. The interviewer might consider it immoral to hit the hay at anything past 11pm, and if so they might judge you "no hire". But part of the interviewing process should be to filter out potential employers who allow that sort of opinion to prevent business getting done, so if that happens then your end of the system is working. Jan 27, 2017 at 10:48

Absolutely not.

There are at least 10 reasons that I can imagine for why you would apply late at night, and none of them would be of any interest whatsoever to me as an employer.

I'd hazard a guess that the majority of the employers doesn't even look beyond the date portion of the timestamp, at all.


No. few people, if any, look at the timestamp of an application. I don't. Even if I did I would simply assume that you were employing a tactic to submit as late as possible to be the first application I saw when I got in, so if anything I would think you were either clever or using every available moment to job hunt.

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    Or you were traveling and in a different time zone. Or there was a lag in the email system and the message was received hours later. Or... any number of possibilities that make this not worth judging someone on. Jan 25, 2017 at 15:03
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    @user1717828 well, nothing to assume a negative, in any event. Jan 25, 2017 at 15:44
  • @user1717828 : Or there was a lag in the email system - that does not affect sent timestamp only delivery.
    – rkosegi
    Jan 27, 2017 at 5:23

Generally I agree with what Agent L and Jonathon Cowley-Thom have said. Given that so many hiring managers are inundated with applications nowadays, I doubt they'd have the energy to consider the time you applied. Depending on what kind of electronic application system the employer is using, they may not even be able to see the time that you applied. In general I think it would take a lot for a hiring manager to consider that.

I'd also like to point out that when it comes to federal jobs, they're almost all posted on the USAjobs.gov website. While some are posted at various times throughout the day, most are posted at midnight when their system updates. I consider myself a very well versed applicant, and I'm very motivated about my career. So depending on my schedule, I often stay up late into the night, or get up very early in the morning to check what jobs have posted. Especially considering that many of the more desirable jobs will close after receiving a set # of applications. The system is automated and my resume/transcripts/certifications are all uploaded, so I have applying down to a matter of minutes.

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