Does your job search process consist of seeing how many job applications you can send off each day? If you fall into the category of job seekers who have applied for hundreds of jobs and haven’t heard back on any of them, there’s a reason why you’re not being successful in your search.
When you’re searching for a job, quality is more important than quantity. You could find hundreds of wrong job openings before you find one that could be right for you. Spending hours applying to those jobs is a waste of time, and it isn’t going to help your job search be any more successful.
A focused search is necessary in order to find the right jobs to apply for. To begin your search, look around at the job postings that are out there and decide which ones seem like the best fit for you. Take note of the common elements- job titles, types of experience required, job requirements- and then begin a more focused search for postings with similar elements. This step- and making a commitment in your search to only pay attention to the right type of job postings- is the key to ensuring that you focus your search from the start.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when taking a closer look at your job search:
Do you at least meet the minimum qualifications for the job? Choose the jobs you apply for wisely. If you don’t meet the minimum requirements, then don’t apply. Why waste your time applying for a job you’re not qualified for?
Are you spending enough time working on each application? If you are pumping out multiple job applications a day, maybe you aren’t spending enough time on each one. Are you customizing each application, focusing your cover letter and resume specifically for each job?
If you got the job you’re applying for, would it be a good fit? You shouldn’t apply for a job that you wouldn’t really want if it was offered to you. If you know a job probably isn’t going to be a good fit just by looking at the posting, then don’t apply for it. Save your energy for completing applications for the jobs you really want.
Is the job in line with your career track and/or areas of interest? Finding a job you’re qualified for is one thing, but finding a job that interests and excites you, and follows your desired career path, is another. Aim for a job that you are qualified for AND that is going to challenge and stimulate you. If you are excited about your job, it feels less like a job.
Once you are able to identify the right job postings, dedicate the time to making each application the best it can be for that position. Focus your cover letter and resume. Customize your application materials so the employer or hiring manager has no doubt that you had their company and their opening in mind when you submitted your application materials.
Focus on quality- both the quality of the jobs you choose to apply for, and the quality of your work in preparing the best application materials possible- for a successful job search.