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  • Writer's pictureMike Farragher

Job Market Report: The Flight of The Clock Watchers


We’re often asked at Career Letters when is the best time to search for a job, and our answer is always at the end of the first quarter of the calendar year.


If we look at our business trending, we start heating up after the first of the year. People have New Year’s Resolutions to fulfill:


I’m going to retire this year!

I’m going to nab a higher paying job!

If I don’t get that promotion, I am out of here!


Many companies issue their bonuses and incentive packages (stock options, etc.) in late March, the sweet spot between when they’ve calculated year end performance and before they report out on the first quarter. There is a flurry that follows of people watching the clocks as they wait to head for the exits once their bonus check is direct deposited. Senior leaders announce their retirements. Salespeople fly the coop for greener pastures once the commission check is cashed.


For some companies that pulled revenue forward to save a soft Q4, there may be restructuring and cost cutting during the first quarter as well. Though most of these companies might issue a hiring freeze, there might be job opportunities if they are shedding white collar middle management jobs in one area in favor of beefing up staff elsewhere in the organization.


Are you ready to seize the opportunities in this new wave of job openings?


On your mark, get set, go….with these 4 quick tips:


  1. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized to attract the jobs you want: internal and external recruiters will begin “hitting the digital pavement” looking for fresh candidates to replace the departed clock watchers. It is essential that your LinkedIn has the right key words to attract their attention so that your inbox is flooded with head hunters looking to put time on your calendar. An easy way to see if your page is optimized is to click the suitcase icon at the top of your LinkedIn page: is the list of jobs a match for the work that would interest you? If not, you may have some tweaking to do!

  2. Update your internal HR profile: companies often prefer hiring from within. Some of the larger 4 with many divisions will rely on their internal HR systems to mine candidates from other departments. A young manager in the terrestrial radio space that we worked with recently was shocked to learn she was losing half of her advertising staff to internal poaching after a new digital media expansion was announced. She came to us scrambling to redo her resume so that she could apply for a promotion on the digital side that would keep her team intact.

  3. Friend-raising now in target companies: do you have a fellow college alumni, a sorority sister, a former co-worker, or anyone else in that that target company that you can cultivate into an internal coach who can begin looking for opportunities before the hiring managers post them onto the job boards? Get creative on how to get the inside track!

  4. Update your resume with the latest responsibilities, accomplishments, and victories you’ve recently achieved.


If you need help optimizing your LinkedIn profile and updating your resume, we can help!  If you’re watching the clock, time is ticking!



Mike Farragher has been a commercial leader in the biotech space at a VP-level hiring manager level for over 15 years. He is also the Co-Founder of Career Letters, a boutique agency specializing in professional branding.



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