Dust off those résumés, job seekers: Jan. 6 is the busiest day of the year to look for a new gig, according to job search site Monster.
Job searches typically slow to a standstill in the last few months of the year as job hunters turn their attention instead to eggnog and ugly sweaters. Searches declined by nearly 7 percent from November through December, according to Monster job search data.
But that all changes at the start of the new year, Monster said. Last year, job searches on the first Wednesday in January jumped 70.5 percent from the average day.
"By Wednesday, people feel more settled back into their routine and feel focused and confident, and that's when they start looking," explained Vicki Salemi, a careers expert for Monster.
From a recruiting perspective, it's also time to ramp up hiring efforts, she added.
The first quarter is generally the strongest hiring quarter of the year, as budgets for the new year are approved, explained Barbara Safani, president of Career Solvers in New York and author of "Happy About My Job Search."
With the job market strengthening and the unemployment rate at 5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this quarter is poised to be a particularly good time to jump-start a job search for those that have been out of work as well as those that are looking to switch jobs.
Although the influx of job searchers might deter candidates who are worried about being lost in the mix, Safani advised job seekers to jump in — even on the most trafficked day of the year.
To stand out, Safani suggested that job seekers start with fine-tuning the foundation for their search, which includes polishing up everything from their résumé to their LinkedIn profile and mobilizing a network of contacts who will make introductions or act as a cheerleader on their behalf.
"As soon as you see a job that you are interested in, apply," Salemi added. "If you delay, employers may already have their first round of interviews or even extend an offer to someone else."
But, she added, "Never look for a job when you are on the job, because you will get caught."