Dear Sam: I apply for at least 20 jobs each day online and am having no luck getting noticed. What else can I do? Help! – Dave
Dear Dave: I applaud you for investing in your job search through the time and effort I am sure it takes to apply to 20 positions per day, but that number also concerns me. Is your search targeted enough to have a resume sending a distinct message to your desired audience? I can’t imagine there are 20 jobs you qualify well for, at least not every day, and you should know that your resume has to paint a very targeted picture in today’s candidate-saturated market.
Once you ensure your resume is targeted, augment your search with offline strategies. Do you know that more than two-thirds of candidates use a combination of online searches and networking to get their foot in the door? But, it is estimated that only a fraction of those job seekers actually find their next job online.
Instead of applying online all day long, call everyone you know and start to engage their resources, dramatically extending the awareness and reach of your search. Improve your market knowledge by reading the business section of the newspaper, trade publications, or other industry periodicals. If an article you read showcases an executive and their business practices, why not send a personal letter to that company or team member, stating how you enjoyed reading the article and would “fit” with their business methodologies and culture. This allows you to demonstrate your professional writing skills and could spark interest in you as a candidate.
Your distribution strategy should encompass a multi-pronged approach. Stop hitting apply now online so many times per day and develop a more targeted search, improving your ROI by integrating more diverse search strategies.