Are you applying for enough jobs, or too many?

So, you’re title is a full time job hunter, but how many applications a week are written in your job description? We look at the ideal amount of jobs you should be applying for, how you should structure your job search, and if there really is a magic applications number to get success.

In order to get more insight, we ran a poll on our twitter page #jobseekerswed. Astonishingly, 34% of people replied saying they hadn’t applied for a single job. C’mon guys, it’s impossible to find work if you don’t put yourself out there. Try to get into a habit and set yourself targets, and reward yourself for frequent job applications. By playing the percentages, you will increase your response rate which may ultimately turn into interviews, or even more. This leads us to lesson number 1: MORE IS MORE.

However, it’s also important to understand that applying to the right jobs is crucial if you want to avoid wasting time during your job search. Think about your persona, taking into account the things you most enjoy, the skills you are qualified in, and the jobs you’re experienced in. Once you have a good understanding of your dream job, try to only apply to the ones which are over 60-70% similar. This way, your applications to these jobs will give off a strong desire and passion for the respective role. We have now identified our second lesson: QUALITY OVER QUANTITY.

So far, we can suggest from the lessons learnt that we must apply for lots of jobs that are still of strong relevance to us. Pretty simple, right? Well, if you go back to your desk, draft up a blanket statement about how you’re passionate and enthusiastic, and then paste it into the answer fields, then unfortunately you’re doing it all wrong. Indeed.com explains how this will result in a lower than 1 in 400 reply rate. So, do a thorough research of the job, consider how your skills set would make you the ideal candidate, and use unique adjectives and descriptions to explain why. Lesson number 3: DO YOUR RESEARCH

An application done right may take anything between 2 and 4 hours. Remember, this might sound like a long time, but if it’s going to get you an interview or even a job, it’s worth that and then some. By doing the math, this suggests that realistically (even with your Nescafe count reaching double figures), you can apply to a maximum of 5 jobs a day. Try keeping it to 2-3 thorough, high quality applications per day, which equates to 10-15 per working week. This will be enough to keep your chances high based on the rule of large numbers, yet maintain those quality applications which employers always look for. Let’s call our fourth lesson 5 A DAY IS MORE THAN ENOUGH

Let’s say your search is going really productively, and you’ve managed to administer 5 high quality applications on a daily basis for the last two weeks. This means that you’ve smashed around 50 overall, and you’re starting to lose track of what you’ve applied for and what you haven’t. Make sure you keep rigorous track of your applications and document your success. Keep a diary, or even a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (You never know, you might enhance your computer skills whilst doing it). Make the process as enjoyable as possible, strive for success and reward yourself for any progress you make. This will allow you to remain positive and motivated to achieve your end goal of finding work. Fifth and final lesson: TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

As a final note, remember the five key lessons we can take away from this article when looking for work. Identify that more is more, but maintain the attitude that quality over quantity is still the way to go. Do your research on the job thoroughly, and look to average about 2-3 detailed applications a day. Remember, 5 a day is more than enough. Last but not least, never forget to track your progress and reward yourself for success. Good luck, and happy job hunting!

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