A common question job seekers have is how many jobs they should be applying to in a day, week or month. The truth is that you should be applying to as many jobs as you’re qualified for. There is no magic number as one person can only come across only a few jobs that they’re qualified for in a week, while others can find dozens. The more opportunities you create for yourself – the more results you will see.
The major issue is tailoring your resume to each position which requires some time. It’s better to focus on quality rather than quantity. Taking your time out to apply to just 2-3 positions where the resume is well tailored can be more effective than sending the same resume out to dozens of jobs.
10-15 job applications per week is a good target.
(We wrote a good post here on tailoring your resume to different positions)
10 – 15 quality job applications per week is a good target. This means you should be applying to roughly 2-3 jobs per business day. The most effective way to organize your job search is to set a schedule each day like an actual job where you only focus on your job search. Set aside 2-3 hours per day where you can tailor your resume and apply for jobs you’re qualified for.
Here are some tips to help you increase the quality of your job applications and land more interviews.
Make sure that you research and 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. An ATS relies on keyword searches as part of its approval protocol. If your resume doesn’t contain the right words, you’re likely to get rejected. Improve your resume by using those relevant keywords to satisfy the machines and ensure that your resume reaches human eyes.
You could see how your resume does in an actual ATS screening with our free resume review.
Getting your resume past the ATS is important – but then you need to impress the hiring manager. You do this by including achievements and showing how you went above and beyond what was expected. Remember that there is an average of 250 job applicants for each corporate job opening in the U.S, so you really need those achievements to stand out.
Always quantify your achievements (using #’s, %’s) so it stands out to a hiring manager. (They love numbers!)
The best way to land a job today is through networking. Many jobs seekers only apply to jobs they find on major job sites like Indeed, but this is the hardest way to land interviews.
A survey revealed that 85% of jobs today are filled through networking.
Reach out to your network on LinkedIn and see if there is anyone who can refer you.
Here is an example of how to reach out when asking for job referrals.
Hope all is well with you. (Insert something personal)
I am 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.
Do you follow-up on your job applications? You could be missing out if you don’t.
Dear Hiring Manager [include name if you have it],
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, let me know.
One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is including too much irrelevant information on their resume. Read through the job description before applying to each position to ensure you’re including only information (skills/experience) that are relevant for that particular position. Including irrelevant skills or experience can have a negative impact on your response rate.
Focusing on the quality of applications rather than quantity will really improve your response rate. Focus on tailoring your resume and cover letter to each position you apply to. Set aside a few hours a day to get in 2-3 quality job applications and don’t forget to network!
Good luck with your job search!