If you’ve come across #careertok or checked into LinkedIn recently, chances are you’ve heard about the September Surge. At first glance, you might think it’s tied to an increase in inflation or back-to-school rush. However, the reality is quite different.

As a writer focused on careers and finance, I wasn’t familiar with the term, so I saw it as a chance to learn more about what the September Surge entails. After doing some thorough research, watching a few TikToks, and consulting with a career expert, I’m here to provide you with a snapshot of the September Surge and its implications for your career.

Understanding the September Surge

Lauren McGoodwin, founder of Career Contessa and author of Power Moves, defines the September Surge as a rise in job listings and hiring by companies that typically occurs post-Labor Day until around Halloween. According to Lauren, “While there isn’t concrete data, just take a look around LinkedIn. It’s evident through anecdotal evidence.” Indeed, discussions around the September Surge and the need for job seekers to leverage it for securing new positions before year-end are prevalent.

Factors Behind the September Surge

Although there’s a lack of solid proof supporting the September Surge, Indeed states that most hiring occurs in January and February. So, what triggers this surge later in the year during a non-peak hiring period? Several potential factors may come into play.

  1. Post-summer, individuals are back in work mode, focused on their careers without distractions like childcare or vacations, making it an opportune time for job seekers to invest in their search efforts.
  2. With the fiscal year-end approaching, teams aim to utilize leftover budgets to recruit valuable employees.
  3. Industries experiencing a seasonal workload increase, such as retail, look to hire to accommodate the impending busy period leading up to the holidays.
  4. For companies not anticipating a surge in business later in the year, September and October serve as an ideal time to fill open positions before the holiday season slows business in November and December.

Implications for Job Seekers

Simply put, now is the prime time to secure a new job before the year ends. If you’re actively seeking a job or contemplating exploring the job market, the odds are in your favor. Missing out on the September and October hiring wave could mean waiting until January or February for a new job. McGoodwin recommends job seekers shift gears from summer mode, update their resumes, engage on LinkedIn, attend networking events, and set up informational interviews.

Five Steps to Get Ready for the September Surge

If you’re ready to dive into the job market, where should you start? McGoodwin emphasizes the importance of showcasing your skills effectively. To capitalize on the September Surge, here are five actionable steps you can take right away.

  1. Update Your Resume and Cover Letter: It’s crucial to keep your resume and cover letter current. Create templates that you can personalize based on the specific job you’re applying for.
  2. Refresh Your Digital Presence: Alongside updating your resume, ensure your digital profiles, like LinkedIn, reflect your skills effectively to put your best foot forward.
  3. Network, Network, Network: Despite networking appearing dull, it holds significant value. Networking isn’t confined to physical events; it extends to online interactions like LinkedIn messages, Instagram DMs, mentor referrals, and virtual coffee chats with former colleagues.
  4. Create a Target List: Proactively identify companies of interest, explore their job openings, leverage connections, and reach out directly to recruiters.
  5. Follow-Up: The current surge is indicative of a busy period. If you don’t receive responses, don’t hesitate to follow up politely to ensure your request remains on their radar. Even if you don’t get a response, at least you’ve made the effort.

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