This topic/pet peeve of 2010 for me is pretty straight forward. This is NOT an effective, or strategic method for getting your resume viewed by a company. It actually works against you. Applying to 15 different jobs posted on our company website makes you look clueless…period.
I suppose I can understand why some people do this. Maybe they assume that the more times I see your name, the more I will want to call them for an interview? Maybe they feel that I am a better judge of what position they would be best for within my company so apply for all, and let me do the work? If either of those reasons has prompted you to behave this way, then you need to cease applying for jobs online immediately, and seek the expertise of a career counselor to get you pointed in the right direction.
I recently spoke to the Talent Acquisition Director at Blizzard Entertainment (an extremely popular place to work if you are a gamer that lives in the Southern California area) who told me that there was a candidate who actually applied to 41 positions on their website! That was a record. Imagine how much time that person wasted that company.
So, on behalf of all of my colleagues in the business of Talent Acquisition, along with all of those intelligent job seekers that read my blog, and other blogs for advice on how to approach a job search strategy that gives you the best shot at getting an interview – PLEASE DON’T APPLY TO JOBS THAT YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED FOR.
Here is the secret to a successful job search strategy, and it is far from a holy grail of information, and closer to a cocktail of common sense mixed with some business acumen.
Get your resume reviewed or even re-written by a professional that has references that you can check prior to paying them. Identify companies that you would like to work for, and prepare to articulate in a cover letter, then an interview, why you feel that their company is a good fit for you.
Spend A LOT of time online looking for new job openings at these, and similar companies, and apply online to those which are a good match with your skill set.
Keep doing that.
Don’t hunt down recruiters by calling HR departments to follow up on a resume you submitted online two days ago. Don’t apply to 10 jobs on the website just because you would take a janitor position to get your foot in the door at Google. If we are looking for a janitor, we are going to hire a janitor. Not a Linux Systems Administrator; not a Customer Service Rep, and not an ex-Loan Officer.
Brand your resumes for the company and the specific position you are going after, and that is how you will stand out from the crowd. Job Searching is like sales – you can never give up prospecting. You need to build your funnel, and keep adding options. Don’t rely on one opportunity that you spent hours cultivating the perfect cover letter for – it likely will fall through and then you’ve lost a week of searching for other viable options. You need to commit to searching for a job, and be methodical about your approach. Don’t expect recruiters to do the work for you – and don’t make the mistake of branding yourself as a moron before you even get to shake someone’s hand.
That is eventually how your online job search will become less of a black hole and more of a gold mine.