The “September Surge” Can Help You Land Your Next Job — Here’s How

published Sep 6, 2023
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For many people, fall signals the start of a fresh job-hunting season. If you’re finding yourself in that boat, perhaps you’ve heard murmurs on social media about a phenomenon called the “September Surge” and wondered how seriously to take it. Well, don’t pass it off as yet another cute catchphrase, especially if you’re looking for a new job. If you skipped it in your scrolling, allow me to fill you in.

What Is the “September Surge”?

The “September Surge” is the heightened push, typically running from Labor Day through the end of October, for many companies to hire for vacant job positions before the end of the year. It’s a popular time of year for managers to hire before budgets close and the holidays arrive — and for those looking for a new job to land one.  Though the term has been trending on TikTok as of late, it’s no new concept. “September is notoriously one of the best times of the year to look for a new role as companies aim to shore up the workforce heading into Q4 and have reinvigorated energy post-summer,” says Lori Cummings, senior vice president of people and culture at Skillable, a hands-on learning platform for the workplace.

“It’s good news for job seekers on many fronts,” says Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster, who recalls her days as a former corporate recruiter. “We always had budgets that could potentially close if these positions weren’t filled,” she explains. “So there’s pressure on employers by year-end to not only have these job requisitions closed out but also to have the new hire already started.” 

Is the “September Surge” real?

The September Surge is a thing, according to experts who have observed the phenomenon firsthand, but whether it will affect you and your job search depends a lot on your industry and this volatile job market. 

“September usually brings a wave of job openings, but given how the job market has been acting lately, I wouldn’t be too surprised if the usual ‘September Surge’ isn’t as intense as we’re used to,” says Ashley Samson, chief of staff at, a fintech lending marketplace. 

Samson adds that “it’s almost a tradition” to increase hiring in the retail sector ahead of the busy holiday season. “But in the bigger picture, I think we’re looking at a job market that’s sticking with its rollercoaster ups and downs that we’ve seen these past few months,” she says.

Do not take that as a sign to take a break from your job search, though. “It’s all about customizing your resume to match what employers are looking for, staying in touch with those hiring managers, and continuing to promote yourself to potential bosses,” says Samson. “While things might not be textbook ‘September Surge’ this time, there’s still plenty of opportunity if you play your cards right.”

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

How to Land a New Job in September

Even if you’re no longer attached to the school calendar, September feels like a fresh start. So if you’re in the job market, it would be even sweeter to show up for your first day at a new company.

Your skills should be top of mind when presenting your best self to employers. “Stop focusing on experience and the college degree,” Cummings says. “Instead, spotlight how your skills make you best suited for the role.” To take it a step further, she recommends asking if there are any HR tech tools the company uses for recruiting so you can “showcase those skills, proving in real time you have what it takes.”

While lots of hiring will get done this month in certain sectors, don’t be alarmed if September does end with you still in the trenches. “[Jobseekers] should not think that it’s all or nothing September or wait till January,” says Salemi. “New opportunities become available constantly.”