Companies hire nearly every day of the year. Be prepared every day of the year and adjust your expectations depending upon the hiring season that you're in.
The prime hiring season is between early January and early May as this activity tracks the release of new year budgets and slows as schools let-out for the summer holidays. Family cycles influence corporate rhythms.
The secondary hiring season is between Labor Day and just before Thanksgiving. Children are back in school, summer holidays have been taken, corporate focus returns fully to generating revenues, a strong close to the year and preparing for the next year. As an aside, companies try to operate on 2 to 5 year planning cycles in order to accommodate what feels like a start and stop pace of the individual year.
It is important to understand the business cycle of the company and the industry that you target. Those that sell or service the Federal government accommodate the Fed's 1 October fiscal year. Oracle's fiscal year begins on 1 July. Many companies end their fiscal years on 31 December which tends to complicate the holiday season (e.g.meshing vacations with year-end closings) and little time is available to hire unless a highly critical position needs to be filled.
10 Jan to 10 May = The Peak Hiring Season. Best time to receive an offer and to get started with a company.
11 May to July 4th holiday = hiring slows considerably. Lower your expectations the closer that you are to 4 July.
5 July to Labor Day = gradual up-tick as companies prepare to hire post-Labor Day. Good time for networking.
Labor Day to mid-November = a solid hiring period. Try to be on your target company's hiring radar when the season opens.
Mid-November to 1 January = Only essential hiring or spending of surplus budget in this period.
Every and any day of the year is good for researching, networking and planning.