When you're job searching, you want to make sure you're investing your time and effort wisely. You can spend hours searching for job postings, writing the perfect cover letter, and tailoring your resume. If you're job searching in addition to working another job or balancing obligations, you're probably wondering: how many job applications should I be sending out every week?
There is no magic number, unfortunately, but our team sees the best results from applicants who apply to 10 to 15 jobs per week. This range hits the sweet spot between relevant, tailored resumes and plenty of chances for success. The more opportunities you create for yourself, the more results you will see.
Why we recommend 10 to 15 resumes per week
Sending out 10 to 15 quality job applications per week is a good target. This means you should be applying for roughly two to three jobs per business day. The most effective way to organize your job search is to set a schedule each day for the time you only focus on your job search. Set aside two or three hours per day when you can apply for jobs you're qualified for with a tailored resume.
A job seeker should focus on quality and not quantity when applying to jobs. 10 to 15 applications a week is a good target.
Here are five tips to help you increase the quality of your job applications and land more interviews.
5 tips to improve the quality of your job applications
1. Write for an ATS scan
An effective resume has to use the right keywords, based on the information found in the job posting. Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems now, and you need to get past those systems to be considered for an interview.
An applicant tracking system (ATS) relies on keywords as part of its approval protocol. If your resume doesn’t contain the right words, you’re likely to get rejected for that job. Instead, you should write your resume to include the right keywords and the right formatting for an ATS scan.
2. Highlight your achievements
Getting your resume past the ATS is important--but then you need to impress the hiring manager. You do this by including your best accomplishments that show how you went beyond what was expected. Remember that there are 250 job applicants for each corporate job opening in the U.S, so you really need your achievements to shine!
Whenever possible, use numbers to explain your impact or results. Hiring managers love numbers!
professional resume writers know how to organize your resume to appeal to hiring managers. Check out our guide to the best resume writing services to find your perfect fit!
3. Only include relevant information
One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is including too much irrelevant information on their resumes and job application. Read through the job description before applying to each position to ensure you're including only the skills and experience that are relevant for that particular position.
Including irrelevant skills or experience can have a negative impact on your response rate! For best results, make sure your resume is a clear response to the job description. There are several quick edits you can make to tailor your resume before submitting your resume--don't skip this step!
The best way to land a job today is through networking. Many job seekers only apply for jobs they find on major job sites like Indeed, but this is a mistake. Applying online is the hardest way to land interviews. A recent LinkedIn survey revealed that 85% of jobs today are filled through networking.
Instead, you should reach out to your network on LinkedIn and see if there is anyone who can refer you to a specific role or company you're targeting. Here is an example of what you should say when asking for job referrals:
Hope all is well with you! (Insert something personal here, or remind the person of how you know each other)
I'm wondering whether you have any contacts with your company’s hiring personnel, and if you would feel comfortable making an introduction. If you feel that you’re familiar enough with my work history and skills to put me in contact with [hiring manager name}, I would greatly appreciate it!
Applying to jobs online is not as effective as reaching out to the company or hiring manager directly. Read our guide to sending a cold email during the job search (with examples).
5. Follow up
You should always follow up after submitting your resume. Experts disagree on how soon and how many times, but not following up at all can put you at a disadvantage at getting a job. Use your best judgment and remember to be polite!
Here's a template you can use to follow up with a hiring manager:
Dear Hiring Manager [include the name possible],
I want to reiterate my enthusiasm for the [NAME OF POSITION] role. I’m confident that my [unique attributes or skills] will bring huge value to [company]. I’m looking forward to taking the next steps. If there’s anything I can do to help the process, please let me know!
Send out at least 10 resumes and cover letters per week while you're job searching. By focusing on the quality of applications rather than quantity, you will improve your response rate. Remember to tailor your cover letter and resume to each position you apply for.
Set aside a few hours a day to get two to three quality job applications out, and keep in mind that job searching usually means communicating with other people. Balance your time between job seeking, talking to people, and building your professional skills to list on your resume.
Good luck with your job search!
The ZipJob team is made up of professional writers located across the USA and Canada with backgrounds in HR, recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing.