A job search required more time before the internet. You would read the newspaper to find open jobs, drive around your town looking for Help Wanted signs, or stop in at places on the chance that they were hiring. You would then fill out a paper application by hand or give them a copy of your resume and drive on to the next potential employer. The internet has made searching more convenient. As that process has simplified, a new search strategy has emerged: “Look on a job board, apply to all of the jobs, wait for the offers.” Applying for all of the jobs you can find online may sound like the best way to get a job because the odds are you will at least get one, but it’s NOT an effective strategy for several reasons.
1. Quantity is Less Important Than Quality
There are only so many hours in the day to apply for jobs. If you’re going to apply to every job you marginally qualify for, something will have to give. The most likely victim in that squeeze is the quality of the job application, which hurts your chances on an online application because of the screening process. Take the time to make every application the best it can possibly be by filling out the application to be a specific fit for the position. Taking your time to be as thorough as possible on an application might mean you put out fewer apps, but improves your odds.
2. Burn Out
In a 2014 study it was revealed that only fifteen percent of hires are attributable to job boards like IowaJobs.org, Indeed.com, or Monster.com, and that many more are filled through internal hires or referrals. There are going to be jobs you apply to online that you don’t get for a variety of reasons. Online applications are frustrating on their own, even worse for your psyche is to do all that work and to get no result.
3. Bad Applications Haunt You
Most companies with an online job application ask you to create a profile where they will store your information. If you turn in a poor application because you are spread too thin, that application will still be in the system when you apply for the next job.
4. There are Other Things To Do
You need a job and it’s commendable that you are willing to take on page after page of job applications because of this need. Take some of that energy and put it into networking. If the number one way that employers find employees continues to be referral sources, then it makes sense to get referred. Work over your resume to make it the best possible resume for the jobs you really want. Do a practice interview on InterviewStream. Take the time you would normally spend applying to jobs that aren’t a good fit for you and improve yourself as a candidate for the jobs that are good fits.