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More jobs are posted in January than any other month, but your odds of landing one of them are lower

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If the start of the new year has you thinking more "new job" than "new you," we have some good news — with a catch.

Job openings and ads skyrocket in January, but so does the number of people looking for a different gig.

That's according to data from online job hub ZipRecruiter. Because employers typically start the year with new programs or projects planned and new growth targets to hit, they are also keenly aware of any personnel holes they may have that would prevent them achieving those goals. This leads companies to ramp up job postings in January so they can fill those gaps as soon as possible, says Julia Pollak, ZipRecruiter's labor economist.

ZipRecruiter sees the highest volume of job postings within a single month occur in January each year, with listings typically rising 15 percent from December levels.

And employers aren't just advertising, they are actually closing the deal more often in January too — hiring increases 30 percent in the first month of the year over December rates.

But the influx of new job listings, however, is no match for the drove of hungry job seekers knocking on employer's doors in the first month of the year. Maybe it is all those ad listings, New Year's resolutions or a determination to stick it out till that year-end bonus comes in, but January is by far the most popular month of the year for job seekers to kick off their search, ZipRecruiter found.

Applications to jobs posted on ZipRecruiter rose 40 percent from December 2017 to January 2018. The site expects to see a similar, if not higher, bump this year, as the number of applications has been growing each year.

So even though there are more jobs available in January, you're facing much stiffer competition for those roles, meaning your odds of landing the gig actually decrease in January as compared to other times of the year, like December, when the pool of candidates falls more than the number of openings does.

Don't despair. Strong candidates typically benefit from having more options to choose from, says Pollak as they can pick the best employer and salary. If you want to tilt the game in your favor, apply to listings as soon as possible. "Apply early and follow up on any emails or interviews with the company promptly, she recommends. 

Getting in early and showing your enthusiasm can be an easy way to set yourself apart.

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