Job applications: How many is too many?
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 Bayt.com, 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 Bayt.com 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.