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Quality vs. Quantity: Will Applying to More Jobs Help or Hurt?

CATEGORY: Find the Right Job
POSTED: March 27, 2014 at 11:19 am

 Most people approach the job search with little to zero knowledge of the recruiting process.  You may think an increased number of applications will result in an increased number of interviews.  Not necessarily true.  We’re all familiar with the saying “quality vs. quantity” and this certainly applies to job searching.  If you think it’s a numbers game –you’ve only increased your chance of wasting time in your job campaign!  Many job applicants will say they applied to hundreds of jobs before receiving an offer.  This creates a false impression that one must apply to this many jobs to land an interview.  For every 20 or 30 resumes you send out, you might get one offer for an interview.  There are a few problems with spending this much energy on sending out resumes.

For starters, the “job-hunt” is a highly studied and researched phenomena which we actually know a lot about it.  Research suggests there are 16 different job hunting methods in this country, however, out of every 100 job hunters who use only one method about 51 of them abandon their job search by the second month (, 2013).

Rather than applying to more jobs – consider utilizing more job search methods!  Research suggests it’s best to use four different methods to job search.  The information below, taken from What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles, clearly shows that job-hunters often use job search methods that are the complete opposite way employers recruit candidates!

Typical Job Hunter Methods Typical Employer Methods
Sending resumes online Look within the company
Review ads Colleagues
Colleagues Referrals
Referrals Drop-ins with proof
Contacts Agencies
Drop-ins with proof Ads
Look within the company Accepting resumes online

So, rather than wasting hours sending resumes through online applications, why not spend hours locating contacts within the company?  Or, networking with colleagues to create a pipeline of referrals?  Better yet, building your network using social media such as LinkedIn?  Of course all of these methods require a polished resume, but the takeaway is – it’s not effective to use just one job search method.  So, ditch the 100+ jobs you have line up to apply for (which will take hundreds of hours) and focus on approaching the job search with at least 4 job search methods.

Emily K.

Emily is a career counselor and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with expertise in resume writing, job search strategies, and interview preparation. She has written over 100+ resumes and cover letters within six months of joining ResumeEdge.

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