Job ap­pli­ca­tions: How many is too many?

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

It not news that the job mar­ket is quite com­pet­i­tive. Com­pe­ti­tion al­ways ex­ists. Per­haps it varies by re­gion or in­dus­try, but there are of­ten hun­dreds of can­di­dates com­pet­ing for one po­si­tion at a time. At, the Mid­dle East’s #1 Job Site, we rec­om­mend job seek­ers to be as ac­tive as pos­si­ble when it comes to their CVs, pro­files, and all other el­e­ments that con­trib­ute to a suc­cess­ful job ap­pli­ca­tion. Job seek­ers also need to pay at­ten­tion to the rel­e­vance of their CV to ev­ery job they ap­ply for. They need to make sure they are ac­tu­ally qual­i­fied in or­der to catch the em­ployer’s at­ten­tion.

But in face of the tough com­pe­ti­tion and the var­i­ous re­quire­ments that em­ploy­ers set in place, job seek­ers of­ten ask: how many jobs do I need to ap­ply for? Is two enough? Five? 10? 100?

Sim­ply put, there is no magic num­ber. Some job seek­ers ap­ply for tens or hun­dreds of jobs be­fore land­ing that op­por­tu­nity that suits their needs. Oth­ers find their ideal po­si­tion fairly quickly. It re­ally de­pends on many dif­fer­ent el­e­ments that we will dis­cuss be­low.

But keep in mind that you shouldn’t be think­ing in terms of numbers any­way. In­stead, think about progress, learn­ing, and goal ob­tain­ment. Ev­ery job ap­pli­ca­tion is a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Ev­ery in­ter­view is a round of prac­tice. Ev­ery day as a job seek­ers is a full time job of plan­ning and strate­giz­ing and grow­ing pro­fes­sion­ally. Here are some ques­tions, how­ever, that you should ask your­self if you are un­cer­tain about your job search ef­forts.

Are you do­ing enough?

Most of the time when job seek­ers have doubts about how many jobs they should ap­ply for, it is be­cause they feel that they are not putting in enough ef­fort. If you ever feel this way, then the an­swer is pre­pare more and ap­ply for more op­por­tu­ni­ties. Be­ing a job seeker is not sim­ply click­ing a but­ton. It is about re­search­ing, reading, writ­ing, im­prov­ing, net­work­ing, con­sult­ing, and try­ing. In or­der to have a suc­cess­ful job ap­pli­ca­tion, you need to put in your 100% and be cer­tain that you did that for ev­ery sin­gle job ap­pli­ca­tion.

Are you pur­su­ing many paths?

Maybe you are a fresh grad­u­ate who is will­ing to ex­plore dif­fer­ent ca­reer paths. Or maybe you have many pas­sions and skills that you want to put to use. Or maybe you want to com­pare and con­trast to make a long-term ca­reer tran­si­tion. What­ever you ex­act rea­son­ing is, if you have the need to ex­plore more, then you al­ready know that you will be ap­ply­ing for more ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties than the av­er­age Joe. But keep in mind that your CV and ap­pli­ca­tion must be cus­tom­ized and tar­geted for the re­spec­tive in­dus­try and job role. You can’t send a generic ap­pli­ca­tion and ex­pect it to be suc­cess­ful.

Are you stand-out ap­pli­cant?

Be­ing a stand-out job ap­pli­cant de­pends on two things: 1) how com­pet­i­tive the par­tic­u­lar in­dus­try and com­pany is and 2) how unique and valu­able your skills are. Let’s say you are ap­ply­ing for a sales po­si­tion in one of the most well-known tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies in your country. The chances are, hun­dreds (or even thou­sands) of other can­di­dates are also in the com­pe­ti­tion pool with you. This is when you know that you need to pur­sue more op­por­tu­ni­ties and be more ac­tive as a job seeker.

On the other hand, let’s sup­pose you are a se­nior prod­uct man­ager with 10+ years of ex­pe­ri­ence and is seek­ing to join the newly launched soft­ware devel­op­ment com­pany. In this sce­nario, you will prob­a­bly face less com­pe­ti­tion and will eas­ily stand out due to your ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence. This where you are more likely to be se­lec­tive with your choices and ap­pli­ca­tions. None­the­less, you will still give each ap­pli­ca­tion 100% of your ef­fort and prepa­ra­tion.

Are you ap­ply­ing blindly?

One thing you ab­so­lutely have to pay at­ten­tion to and avoid is be­ing a “blind ap­pli­cant.” Re­mem­ber: more is not al­ways bet­ter. Don’t be tempted to go on a spree, ap­ply­ing for jobs left and right with lit­tle to no at­ten­tion to the specific re­quire­ments and de­tails of each po­si­tion. This is un­wise and is sim­ply a waste of your time and that of the em­ployer.

Luck­ily, on­line job sites such as will no­tify you of jobs that you don’t qual­ify for and will also show you your rel­e­vance score to each job you sub­mit an ap­pli­ca­tion for. This way you can be more thor­ough and strate­gic with your ap­pli­ca­tions.

At the end of the day, re­mem­ber to be ac­tive, per­sis­tent, and well-in­formed. Know that it is not about the num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions you sub­mit, but about your ef­fort, ded­i­ca­tion, and progress. Giv­ing 100 per­cent ef­fort to the five ap­pli­ca­tions you send is much bet­ter than 5 per­cent ef­fort to 100 ap­pli­ca­tions.

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