More Than 100 Job Applications - But Not a Single Call

He says he's applied for 140 jobs, and he's surprised nothing has happened, but he shouldn't be.

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There was a piece recently on some newscast or another profiling a job seeker who's been out of work for two months and said he'd applied for 140 jobs but had yet to get a single response.


Now, I feel for the guy. He lost his job. And he hasn't seen any activity.


But I'd bet my bottom dollar that the fact that his search is going nowhere is a problem much of his own making..


I suspect when he says he's applied for 140 jobs, what he means is he's submitted his resume (blind) to 140 postings on job sites and/or ads in the paper. He's surprised nothing has happened, but he shouldn't be.


Why do I think that's what's going on? Because he used the word "apply." And because nobody is going to uncover and follow up on 140 solid leads in two months. Nobody.


You can find 140 ads and throw your name in the mix along with hundreds or thousands of other people. But that's not going to get you anywhere. This guy is proof of that.


Or you can track down real opportunities and work them. That's a little harder, and it takes some time.


It means you work your network like crazy and uncover opportunities most people don't know about. This includes things like jobs that are going to open up but haven't yet or jobs that companies have decided to fill through employee referrals.


It means you figure out how to get your foot in the door at companies you're interested in. How about this scenario? Maybe one of your contacts thinks so highly of you that he arranges for you to talk with one of his colleagues even though there's no job on the horizon. Yet. He thinks once this other person meets you and understands your value, that may change; they might find a way to bring you on board. (Think this doesn't happen? I know people who have gotten hired this way.)


It means you don't submit your resume anonymously. Instead, if you see something that interests you in the paper or online, you do some detective work and track down the name of the hiring manager so at the very least, you're submitting your materials to a specific person rather than "to whom it may concern." And you have a specific person to follow up with.


Better yet, you do a little additional sleuthing and figure out some angle - some way to get on the inside track. It could be that you find someone who's willing to make an introduction for you with somebody at the prospective employer, or somebody you know is going to drop your name to the hiring manager or a person in HR.


It also means when you do submit your materials, you follow up. You don't just wait and hope something happens.


If you approach your search in this way, you're not going to submit your resume for 140 opportunities in just a matter of weeks. No, you'll be lucky if you find a few dozen. But you'll be way ahead of the person who sends out three or four times the number of resumes you do (like the fellow in our example above) - but gets nowhere.


[SourceRebecca Metschke | 22/04/2010,]

2010-09-20 | EducateNepal


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