Pharmacists often ask when the worst time is to apply for a pharmacy job. Let me first share the best times to apply, then discuss the worst times to.
The best time frame to apply for a job is typically when companies are ready to hire and make decisions. When is this? Mid-to late spring is one good time frame. Also, traditionally, there is a movement of hiring decision-making before existing budgets will close out at the end of a fiscal year. End of December and end of September are the most common end dates of a company's fiscal year.
Sometimes pharmacies hire because they are coming to the end of their fiscal year, and have some money in their budget left over that they need to spend or lose. Hiring can pick up a few months leading to that, because companies have a sense of their remaining budget for the year.
Even if companies are ready to spend, expect the process to take longer during holidays like Thanksgiving & Christmas towards the end of the year. Hiring managers and pharmacy managers may be out of the office during that time, and not as ready to make decisions.
Over the past year and a half, many pharmacies (big & small) have held on to their leasing money because of an uncertain economy. Time frames that traditionally experience an increase in hiring were slow months for hiring last year. Some pharmacies ran out of money early, or were worried due to uncertainty of the future.
Fortunately, I have noticed more companies feeling a bit more encouraged with what lies ahead, and are willing to now go ahead and spend those dollars on hiring. But read my article on the recent pharmacist job market if you have not yet. It does not mean that you can expect to get hired like before.
For positions that do not require as much experience, summer months can be the worst time to apply, because new pharmacy grads flood the market then, so you will have more competition than usual for those types of positions. For clinical specialist positions, specialists can expect to apply along with new pharmacy residents also. This may or may not be a huge disadvantage, depending on the level of experience you carry and where you are interested in going.
Late summertime traditionally is a slower time period when hires happen.
For temp opportunities, summer months can be good because permanent employees are going on vacation during that time. Of course, if you are willing to where no one else is willing to go, ie: Alaska in the dead of winter, you have your choice of opportunities (especially if you are flexible and experienced in different types of practice settings).
The reality of it is that there is usually some kind of hiring of pharmacists going on in the country. Even when it's the worst time to apply, as long as you are prepared with your job search strategy (most pharmacists have no idea what this is about