I was describing the reality of what happens on the receiving end of the job application process to a group of job seekers recently as part of a presentation on how to land a key interview.
It’s not unusual for an organization to receive dozens, or even hundreds of online applications for every position they have posted. While it certainly is a competitive job market, there certainly aren’t that many qualified candidates applying for each job. The overwhelming majority of those applicants apply to all kinds of positions, whether they are qualified or not, in the hopes that “something’s gotta stick!”
In reality… No… something does not have to stick.
I often hear job seekers tell me they’ve applied to 100 or 400 jobs and haven’t gotten a single interview. That’s not surprising since, in order to apply to that many jobs, they must have applied to a large number of positions they weren’t really qualified to perform.
It’s understandable, that when someone is desperate to land a job… any job, they will ‘carpet bomb’ the marketplace to hopefully get noticed by someone. The recruiter, or hiring manager on the other hand receives resumes and applications from people that truly have the right mix of experience and skills in addition to the multitude who apply and don’t have an appropriate background for the job at all.
It’s common sense that they will focus their attentions on the well qualified candidates and ignore those that are not. While the job seeker may feel they have some relevant experience that might be of interest to the employer, the employer will naturally gravitate to those candidates that have a great deal of relevant background.
Targeting 10 or 20 jobs that truly are a good fit for your background, tailoring your resume for those opportunities, networking in those organizations, and being pleasantly persistent will net far greater results than blanketing the market with a generic resume.
Take the time and put in the effort to strategically pursue specific companies and positions that are best suited to you, and you will find the results you get greatly improved!