Job Searching Is Hard Work. So Work the Hardest.

Believe me, I know — job searching can be a pain in the butt.

First, you have to figure out where to apply. Then you need to spend a lot of time working on your resume and writing a cover letter, and then, much of the time, you have to go through a ridiculously long online application where you have to rewrite everything that's already in your resume.

Sometimes, there's even more to the process. I've applied for jobs where I had to write multiple essays and submit those as part of the application process.

Certainly, there are ways to speed up the process. Make one version of your resume that you send to everyone. Write up a cover letter template that you just plug in the name of the position and company.

The trouble is, while these methods will lessen the amount of time you spend on job applications, they won't lead to more interviews and job offers. In fact, they'll significantly hurt the chances that you'll land an interview.

Your goal when job searching is not to send out the most applications possible. Your goal is to send out the best applications possible. You're going to get the most interviews, and thus the most chances of getting a job offer, when your applications constantly stand out among the large pool of applications.

In fact, I'm going to suggest something radical:

  • If you're able to submit 2-3 job applications a day, you're doing something wrong.
  • If you're spending 2-3 days on each job application, you're doing something right.

Hiring managers want to hire candidates who do the best work and are the most passionate about this job and this company. A job applicant who has clearly done extensive research on the company and its priorities, who has taken the time to craft a cover letter the speaks directly to the hiring manager's concerns and needs, and who has honed their resume to highlight the specific experiences and accomplishments most relevant to this position is far more impressive that the applicant sending out a generic cover letter that could have been sent to any company along with a resume that could be for a variety of different jobs.

I know. It's a pain. Who wants to put in that much work and have only a single application to show for it?

If you want the job, you will.

(And the sooner you successfully land a job, the sooner you won't have to fill out any more applications!)