We get it. With job boards, mobile phones, and technology hiring platforms making it so easy to hit the apply button, it’s tempting to go overboard and send out your resume to as many jobs as possible when you’re on the hunt to score an interview. But, selectivity in job applications can go a long way to secure the role you really want.
By downsizing your applications, you up-size your ROI (yes, job seekers, you too should be concerned about phrases like ‘Return on Investment’) and boost your chances of landing a job that is a better fit all around. Still not convinced? Here are our top 3 reasons to reduce your job applications and increase your odds of scoring an interview:
When you’ve applied to 50, 100, or for some, even 1,000 jobs, that’s a lot of applications to keep straight and follow-up on which can lead to stress, exhaustion, and confusion. Not only that, but you can pretty much guarantee that it also means a lot of rejection emails and/or radio silence from companies that can cause a lack in confidence and even some job search depression.
Slim down your list to focus on only those jobs and companies that matter to you and that you know you’re a great fit for. Keep your search as simple and focused as possible so that you can put your best foot forward where it counts.
Speaking of pairing down your job applications, when you weed out all the jobs that don’t align with what you are searching for, you’re going to open up a lot more time to re-invest in applying for those jobs. This means taking more time to do things like customizing resumes and cover letters, reaching out to your network for referrals, researching companies, and connecting with current employees—all of which will get your much closer to landing the outcome you want, a job. It’s the old quality versus quality argument and when it comes to landing a job, quality definitely counts.
A funny thing happens when you start thinking smarter about your job applications and put your focus where it counts—you begin to feel better about yourself and your abilities, too. Here’s how it works: when you’re reduce stress and spend your time on things that count like research, outreach, and preparation, you end up doing a lot of self-discovery. You start to find out things like what it is you really want out of a job, what you’re really good at, what the highlights and achievements of your career have been, and it feels good. Not only do you get reminded of your all-around awesomeness, but that energy carries over into the effort you put into your applications to land the interview without you realizing it which can increase your odds of getting noticed by the person reviewing your application.
The trade off in filling out less job applications doesn’t mean there is less of a workload and you can prop your feet up and wait—it means taking a more proactive, rather than reactive approach to securing a job that is a mutual fit for you and the employer. Your time is valuable, treat it that way. Think smarter, focus your search, and make your time count.
(In a perfect world, if all job seekers took this approach, it can be imagined that it would reduce the load of applications employers and recruiters have to sift through, ultimately helping to increase their chances of connecting with great candidates who may have previously been lost in the mix.)
Robin L. Rayburn is the Editor & General Manager of Interviewing.com. Robin was introduced to the recruitment industry in 2007 and her passion for people has never let her stray far from it since. In her spare time she manages her blog, RestlessPillow.com, tweets from @interviewingcom and @chitowntexan, and is always striving to help those around her who have a vision for success. You can also find Robin on LinkedIn and Google+.